Rates rise likely this year: mayor

Mindful . . . Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES

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‘It’s imperative we enter the new year with realistic expectations’

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan wants to work with the district to navigate an increase of the self-imposed 4% rates cap.

In recent community board meetings, Mr Cadogan made an early indication of an increase and the need to find a balance so ratepayers could prepare themselves for the changes.

Mr Cadogan said it was ‘‘unsustainable’’ to continue with the current rates cap in the district.

‘‘We’ve continued to sustain our 4% rates cap for 10 years now, but due to the inflationary environment nationally and within the district we are approaching a breach of the current cap,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve always considered the rates cap in every decision we’ve made for the district, and with the oncoming year it’s something we have to do.’’

A figure for the increase would be issued at a later date, he said.

This year was the year to take all aspects into consideration with the Clutha District Council’s (CDC) annual plan for the district, he said.

‘‘It’s imperative we enter the new year with realistic expectations. We will still be delivering the core services and projects that ratepayers expect, but this year we will be doing the process differently.

‘‘We’re up against some challenging times and we need to do what’s best for our district.’’

In the coming weeks, CDC will be hosting soapbox sessions to give the public the opportunity to voice concerns, opinions and solutions for the ensuing year and the annual plan. ‘‘Our soapbox sessions are a big part of our annual plan,’’ Mr Cadogan said.

‘‘People can produce written submissions to us and we can follow up and take things into consideration.

‘‘Along with that, we are also giving the opportunity for the public to follow up on council days and evenings with verbal submissions and proposals in person, which can be additive to final decision-making,’’ Mr Cadogan said.

‘‘We still expect the district to have big ideas — but this year we want to be ever mindful where additions are based and where they might fit in,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to consider all aspects in the annual plan to move forward.’’

The complications of inflation continues to hit hard around the country, and the Clutha district is no exception to the ongoing rising living costs and tough times.

‘‘To get through it we’ll have to get through it together,’’ Mr Cadogan said

‘We still expect the district to have big ideas.’