Pan charges should be fairly dis­trib­uted

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news -

We write this let­ter to ex­press our con­cern at the sud­den move by the Mata­mata-pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil to in­tro­duce pan tax (charges) as de­tailed in last week’s edi­tion of the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle.

It is not the pan tax that we take is­sue with, as we ac­knowl­edge that while it has it faults pan charges are a rel­a­tively com­mon way of charg­ing for wastew­a­ter.

Rather it is the pro­posed level of this tax and the in­equitable man­ner in which it is be­ing im­ple­mented that is of cause for con­cern.

Cur­rently we pay ap­prox­i­mately $600 in wastew­a­ter rates an­nu­ally.

Un­der the coun­cil’s pro­posed pan charges our an­nual wastew­a­ter charges will rise to just on $11,000.

The rise is as­tro­nom­i­cal and ap­pears to be con­sid­er­ably higher than many coun­cils.

We spoke to three neigh­bour­ing coun­cils (Waipa, Hau­raki and South Waikato) who in­formed us that had our premises been lo­cated within their ju­ris­dic­tions our to­tal an­nual pan charges would be be­tween $4000 and $5000 per an­num.

We have 22 toi­lets on our prop­erty but what the coun­cil has failed to recog­nise is that 100 per cent oc­cu­pancy is not the norm and of­ten when oc­cu­pied our toi­lets are only be­ing used by one per­son.

Com­pare this to say a five or six toi­let premises with peo­ple queu­ing to use them while the to­tal daily flushed (wastew­a­ter) may be sim­i­lar, their pan charges would be around a quar­ter of what we are charged. This hardly seems fair.

We ap­pre­ci­ate that for the good of the dis­trict and to keep up with the mod­ern times the coun­cil must main­tain and im­prove our ameni­ties.

We also ap­pre­ci­ate that this comes at a cost, a cost that must be shared by ratepay­ers.

All we are ask­ing is that be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of the pan charges that the coun­cil pro­poses a pan charge that is fair and jus­ti­fi­able. who would have hun­dreds use their toi­lets each week.

Accommodation sta­tis­tics in the Waikato show an av­er­age of 50 per cent oc­cu­pancy over the last year (num­bers pro­vided by a gov­ern­ment depart­ment). Sports clubs are of­ten sea­sonal and only have users on set days and they are go­ing to pay full whack. The two the­atres have two pro­duc­tions a year and they will have to pay for full use over the whole year. What does this mean? Clubs ei­ther putting their mem­ber­ship fees up to a point where the mem­bers can­not af­ford to be­long any more or they go broke.

The the­atres putting their prices up to a point where peo­ple will not go and they will be forced to close their doors.

Busi­nesses putting their prices up to try and re­coup the cost along with all the other price in­creases.

Sub­mit your sub­mis­sion so that the coun­cil is forced to re­think this and make it fairer to all.

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