Sensible rates and council charges

The Problem:

    • Rates and Council Charges are hammering those least able to pay

Solution:

    • Keep rate increases to the rate of inflation
    • Robin Hood rates (to replace the Sherriff of Nottingham rates we have at the moment) which abolish all flat council charges and so-called “user pays” charges which would be incorporated into property-value-based rates across Christchurch.

What would this look like?

    • Over the last 30 years across New Zealand the rates burden has been shifted from businesses and high-income earners onto low and middle income families. Those on low incomes pay a much higher proportion of their income on rates and council charges than three decades ago. The main mechanism to do this was by introducing flat charges and so-called “user pays”.
    • The effect of this policy would be lower rates for lower and middle income families who own their own home or through reduced rentals where families are in rental accommodation.

What would it cost?

    • This would be a “cost neutral” rates realignment.

What are the benefits?

    • This would have a direct benefit for low-income families in Christchurch where the daily struggle to keep body and soul together gets tougher each year. It’s time for Christchurch’s leaders to give them some rates relief.

Wouldn’t this mean higher rates for residents who live in expensive homes but are on low incomes?

    • Yes and alongside this policy the council would push the government for rates to be based on income rather than asset values. In the meantime, people living in expensive homes have other ways to cover increased costs from rates.