Rates rise con­cerns res­i­dents

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

‘‘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.’’

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED.

The grey ex­panse of empty foot­path on The Square be­tween Main St and Broad­way is set to get this kind of makeover.

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