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Source: Taxpayers Union

Hamilton councillors must vote “no” to five rates increases
4 DECEMBER 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says Hamilton City Council needs to reject their staff’s proposed 4.9% rates hike and the imposition of another additional four ‘targeted rates.’Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said: “The proposed rate increases are fiscally irresponsible and tone-deaf. Ratepayers are struggling in the post-COVID economic slowdown. They have to live within their means and the Council should do the same.””“Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs claims his staff are ‘aware of the need to consider affordability to ratepayers.’ This draft Long-Term Plan shows zero evidence of that platitude. Council’s net debt will nearly double from $619 million in 2020/21 to $1.129 billion by 2030/31.”“The plan predicts that the Council will balance its books in Year 5 (2025-26). The time to balance the books is now. Drop the vanity projects, cut salaries, and ruthlessly eliminate low-quality spending.”“Hamilton City Council needs to make some tough decisions, be financially prudent, and live up to their commitment to affordability for ratepayers,” said Mr Houlbrooke.