More people withhold rates in protest

The number of Dunedin ratepayers who have heeded the call for a rates revolt to protest the Awatea St stadium project has risen to 88.

Stop the Stadium announced the strategy in January, when president Bev Butler said ratepayers would be urged to delay their 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 $6.50.

In February, about 40 people had withheld rates.

Asked yesterday for an update, council financial controller Maree Clarke said 88 people had cancelled their direct debits.

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.


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