104 ratepayers delay payment as stadium protest

Bev Butler
Bev Butler
The number of Dunedin ratepayers that have heeded the call to delay their rates payments in a protest against the Forsyth Barr Stadium project has risen to 104.

Stop the Stadium announced the strategy in January, when president Bev Butler said ratepayers would be urged to delay rate payments if the council decided to go ahead with the project.

A pamphlet distributed at the group's March 29 meeting at the Town Hall said the strategy was a no-risk, low-cost means of protesting to the council, and former mayor Sukhi Turner urged people attending to withhold the average rate increase of $66 a year to make the council take notice.

People were encouraged to deduct $16.50 each quarter, which would attract a 10% annual penalty of $6.60.

By February, about 40 people had withheld rates.

Asked yesterday for an update, council senior financial accountant David Yates said 104 people had cancelled their direct debits, with the stadium given as the reason.

The 10% penalty is applied immediately to the portion of a rates demand which remains unpaid, and if ratepayers are still in arrears at the end of the financial year, June 30, they receive a notice of impending action to recover the unpaid amount.

There are more than 53,000 rated Dunedin properties, nearly 49,000 of them residential.

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