Council to review rates increases

Proposed rates increases in Central Otago are being revised in the wake of anticipated hardship brought on by the impact of Covid-19 on the region’s economy.

In a statement on Friday, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said that meant reductions would be made.

"Your council understands the financial challenges that Covid-19 will bring to households across our district. I want to assure you that your council is working hard to find ways to significantly reduce the proposed rates increases while maintaining crucial services and providing civil defence functions through these hard times."

He asked people to remember there was a range of essential services that a council must continue to deliver, such as safe drinking water, sewerage and rubbish collection.

"Some of those services have increased costs that we cannot control.

"We also have to balance the need to recognise the economic impacts of the lockdown on ratepayers while recognising the crucial role council projects may play in the economic recovery."

How rates would now look was unknown, he said.

"We don’t have the answer yet, but I want to assure you that we will be delivering a proposed annual plan that will be markedly different to the one currently out for consultation.

"Our goal is to ensure the lowest possible impact on you, the ratepayer, during a time of financial hardship."

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