02 May 2020

Zero rates for all businesses ???

I read in Thursday' s paper of a proposal by Peter Malinauskas  (Leader of the Opposition) that
Councils were not doing enough to help businesses in the COVID-19 climate. This sounds like an idea worth considering until you start to wonder who will be required to make up the shortfall of rates? Council is  currently consulting on a 0% rate rise instead of an anticipated 2.1% ( (CPI +1%). In a $40 mill budget that a shade over $800,000 that council has forgone giving equal relief to every ratepayer. However, if we lose our rate base from businesses this could be into the millions on top of this amount. One ratepayer alone pays approx $400,000 in rates.  This additional amount would mean that the rate burden shifts to residential property and a significant loss in service from what our residents expect. On top of that state government wants councils to be on top of their game and have projects ready to build as the situation eases. Thankfully, the bill has been put on hold for a week or two and he might change his mind. I have seen some change in the easing of restrictions already. I've gone back work in  classrooms that are full of students (80%) and a renewed enthusiasm from them. I also manage to get hair cut this morning!

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