Residents around the Kaipara region are demanding a rates freeze from the council.
Rates in the region are set to rise by an average 5.49 per cent on July 1 for the 2020/21 financial year.
Many feel the Kaipara District Counci'ls (KDC) decision to increase rates at this particular time is wrong, "they are on the whole, just greedy," said resident Marg Symes.
At least two other councils have announced preliminary decisions to freeze rates in the wake of the virus upheaval.
Kaipara district council chief executive Louise Miller says they haven't ruled out a rates freeze yet.
"We understand what the community is saying about increases to rates. We are considering how we can help people through a period of hardship to find the right balance between continuing to contribute to the Kaipara economy, with our projects and employment, and easing the burden of rates on our community."
"We will take a measured approach to our decisions, assessing how things develop before charting a course that is right for our district and our community."
Residents have recently taken to social media and have been vocal about the need for a freeze.
Linda Kendall said, "I just do not understand how councils continue to expect residents to pay large increases on their rates, which are way over the cost of living increases."
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Allan Preston believes council staff on huge "market salaries" are willfully oblivious to the reality that many of the people who they are employed by simply cannot afford to pay these extortionate amounts.
Dargaville resident Saul Marinkovich said rates should definitely be frozen, "if landlords have to freeze rent rises, why should councils be able to rise the rates?"
Bogan Lennox says rates should be fixed, "otherwise people that have lost their jobs might just pack up and move away, leaving the council with less revenue, this is the KDC though, so I don't expect much".
Miller further said people still need to pay their rates to ensure essential services continue.
"The Government has provided a significant injection to salaries and wages to enable essential household bills to be paid. Water and wastewater services, roading, our parks, our cemetery, our planning services and most importantly our emergency services are all essential."
Responding to Waikato Regional Council's preliminary decision to cancel scheduled rate hikes in light of Covid-19, New Zealand Taxpayers' Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke said: "Waikato Regional Council should be applauded for its urgent action on behalf of ratepayers. Councils across the country ought to observe this leadership."
"The Government is rightly focused on easing economic pressures on struggling households during the current crisis. Local councils need to step up and do the same."
The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union has started a petition to stop local authorities increasing rates during the Covid-19 crisis.
For details go to:
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