Pandemic response: Campaign for nationwide rates freeze launched
The Taxpayers’ Union has launched a campaign aiming to force New Zealand’s mayors and regional council chairs to commit to a 12-month rates freeze in light of current economic challenges.
While the Government prioritises economic relief for struggling families and employers, most local councils are still planning significant rate hikes in the coming months. Some have plans to hike rates up to nine or ten percent from 1 July.
In the letter to mayors and chairs, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “The Government is currently prioritising economic relief for businesses and households facing economic calamity. But rate hikes at this time of economic turmoil will serve to exacerbate immediate financial stresses and undermine the Government’s relief strategy. Any economist will tell you that a recession is the most damaging time to hike taxes.”
The letter advises councils to cater for the reduction in expected revenue with cuts to lowest-value spending, rather than borrowing. “Households and businesses are cutting costs and it is only fair that your council does the same — we must all cut our cloth to fit the new economic reality.”
A public petition has also been launched at www.RatesFreeze.nz.