Rising rates burden in retirement

There have been a couple of letters in the paper in response to the announcement of the annual rates rise.

Councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay explained the need to levy sufficient rates to ensure that all necessary day-to-day expenditure, as well as any council investment necessary to stimulate and allow for the economic growth of our community, can still be carried out, while also trying to balance the ability of our rating base to continue to afford the cost of rates each year, and to ease the burden by spreading the cost over multiple years.

In this issue I support what Josh is saying as we know only too well from recent history about what happens when the powers that be, central government in this case, collect revenue from the people and do not keep up the necessary level of expenditure.

Following on from this point is the ongoing effect of continual increases in rates every year, and what that may look like when you get to the end of your working life.

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With respect to the property that I live in, rates are nearly four times what they were 20 years ago.

If there are rises of 2.3 per cent a year until I retire, my rates will be more than $6000 a year. That is too much for one property owner to have to pay.

I would like to know when the effect of the borrowing for the WWTP will cease and will that be reflected by a drop in rates commensurate with the large increases that were required to cover this cost.

When I am 65 I don't think that it is reasonable to expect to pay rates at this level when I will not be using any more or less of the services provided than anybody else.

Maybe it is time to look at a rating system that is not based on the value of the property you own, and instead base it on a user-pays model so those of us that have historically taken on a larger share of the burden are not going to be continually hammered into our retirement.

RUSSELL EADES
Whanganui