Rates rise concerns residents
‘‘Resigned but worried’’ is the reaction from some senior citizens to the city’s 3.9 per cent rates increase.
Last week, the City Council confirmed the overall increase when it adopted the Annual Plan for 2016-17. However, older homeowners relying on superannuation are not convinced that spending $26.6 million to upgrade The Square and Broadway, along with contributing towards the Massey Refectory, next year’s Gold Cup Racing Festival, the New Zealand Rural Games and New Zealand Food Awards, as well as a new winter festival, are worth the increase.
‘‘It makes it harder for us to keep our own homes,’’ says Don Fisher citing rates and insurance increases since the Christchurch earthquake as contributing factors.
‘‘You expect things to go up a bit, but it’s hard when it’s a big jump.’’
Senior Citizens president Elsie Downing says the rates increase is higher than inflation. ‘‘It gets beyond a joke.’’ On annual rates of $2000, the increase is $78, or $19.50 a quarter, but on top of last year’s rates rise of 3.8 per cent.
‘‘No one’s getting an increase [in their super],’’ protests Doug Lind.
‘‘I don’t like the idea of [the rise],’’ says Val Bulmer, ‘‘but what can you do about it. You’ve got no choice.’’
The grey expanse of empty footpath on The Square between Main St and Broadway is set to get this kind of makeover.