The impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus and the fears that it will spark a major recession has forced a Taupō District Council rethink on planned fees hikes for the coming financial year.

The council had been considering a number of potential fees increases for the financial year beginning July 1, 2020, and had held a workshop on the matter last month, intending to release a schedule of proposed fees for consultation in the lead-up to its annual plan deliberations.

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However in light of the Alert Level 4 lockdown announced last month and fears that the lockdown and coronavirus would set off a recession, the council decided it would be unacceptable for there to be an increase in existing fees and charges.

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At an extraordinary council meeting held via Zoom earlier today councillors resolved to adopt a fees and charges schedule for 2020/21, which is almost the same as the schedule for the 2019/20 year.

There are only two cases where fees for the coming year will change. The first exception is the Building Levy, which is collected on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), which decreases from $2.05 to $1.75 due to a change to the Building Act.

The other change is an increase in solid waste charges which is a result of changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

From July 1, the per tonne disposal of refuse will increase from $120 per tonne to $130 per tonne. Because of this, the minimum charge for a small load (<100kg) will also increase from $12 to $13. The charge for a medium load goes up from $30 to $32 and for a large load from $48 to $52.

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