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The Selwyn District Council will consider freezing rates increases as part of its Annual Plan consultation process.
In a meeting on Wednesday, district councillors agreed to review the current draft Annual Plan and present a revised version at a meeting next week for adoption before going out for public consultation later this month.
The chief executive will now explore savings and efficiency options that could help fill the financial gap left if expected rates increases are reduced.
The initial draft Annual Plan proposed a rates increase of 3.5 per cent.
The district council also voted to develop an economic recovery package for struggling ratepayers
More details are expected to be presented at a meeting on April 22. But options being considered are:
- A commitment to reduce the penalty for late payment of rates from 10 per cent down to 3 per cent for the 2020/21 financial year.
- Extending rates payment for the 2019/20 financial year, due in June and September, until December 15.
It could apply to all ratepayers that enter into a direct debit payment plan with the district council for this period.
Businesses that have received the wage subsidy and ratepayers who have lost their jobs or lost 20 per cent or more of their income from all sources could be eligible for a six-month deferral on rate payments for the 2020/21 financial year.
It follows the Christchurch City Council's announcement last week it would grant businesses with a 30 per cent decline in actual or predicted revenue over the course of a month, compared to the same period last year, a six-month extension on rates payments.
People who have lost employment or qualify for the Government's wage subsidy will also be eligible for the six-month extension.