The Tasman District Council has heard its community and is responding.
Prior to Covid19 reaching New Zealand the Council had agreed to an indicative rates revenue increase for the 2020/21 year of 2.97%. On Thursday they will consider reducing that to zero.
This is not a decision to be made lightly, said Tasman Mayor Tim King, “but the Council acknowledges that the community and business are hurting and we need to provide some relief.
“Some may believe 2.97% is not material however, in money terms it represents over $2 million. When combined with the other Covid19 impacts on revenue, e.g. severe reduction in forecasted Airport and Port dividends, the likely shortfall to be found by Council will be far higher.
“In reality this means there will need to some tough calls by the Council both immediately and as it works through the LTP in the latter part of this year.
“Over the coming months Council will work through options for cost saving. We will not have the time to consult fully to make this happen and residents will have to rely on their councillors’ judgement on the majority of the early choices that have to be made.
“While we are facing some potentially unpopular decisions we also have the unique opportunity to think differently and act more innovatively than we ever have.
“Over coming months Councillors and staff will be working together, albeit in whatever circumstances the Covid19 response dictates, to provide for recovery and greater clarity for ratepayers”, said Tim King.
Editor Note: The reduction to rates revenue required will be made through the general rate portion as the District’s current rating system has a number of targeted rates derived by where people live and the services they receive. The impact on the overall rates individual ratepayers pay will vary depending on the range of services they receive.