Horizons Regional Council has revised its planned spending this year for a proposed lower rates increase and is seeking feedback from residents.
Horizons is proposing an average 1 per cent rates increase in its 2020-21 annual plan, down from the 5.95 per cent previously intended. The increase was revised down due to potential post-pandemic impact, chairwoman Rachel Keedwell said.
The 1 per cent increase would provide rate funding for increased insurance costs, passenger transport and Total Mobility inflation costs, and a lower than expected income from interest returns.
The council will continue to focus on biodiversity, improving water quality, responding to a changing climate, promoting sustainable land management practices and creating employment that enhances social and economic wellbeing, Keedwell said.
Its current level of service will stay in place, with slight changes.
The proposed plan is open for submissions now. A summary document on Horizons' website gives information on the proposed increase and the council's work programmes.
Feedback can be provided through social media, by emailing email@example.com, by a phone call to 0508 800 900, or by getting in touch with a councillor. It is due by May 17.
The council will adopt the plan, with any changes, on May 26.
Also conscious of financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Whanganui District Council has held a workshop about rates relief for residents.
It may decide that payments can be deferred, without people incurring late payment penalties. A decision on this is expected at its May 26 meeting, with consultation to follow.
Meanwhile its fourth quarter rates invoices are being sent out, chief executive Kym Fell said. People who will have difficulty paying them can ring the council's rates department on 349 0001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.