Small rates respite may be possible next year

Any rates respite for Rangitikei's small villages will not happen until next year at least - and it may only be a small drop.

After protests against rates rises, the Rangitikei District Council's strategic planning and policy committee yesterday learnt how the council could make minor reductions to public good charges for small villages without triggering a costly re-audit of the Long Term Plan.

Public good charges, including things such as water and wastewater, have riled ratepayers from small villages, such as Koitiata, who do not use them.

Rangitikei Mayor Chalky Leary said the rates were definitely not going to change this year, but the council was leaving options open for setting rates from next year.

Mr Leary said even if public good rates were reduced in the future, it would not be by much. "Not to where they think they should be."

Committee members agreed that a lot of work was needed to see how reduced public good charges to small towns could be picked up elsewhere. "If someone's going to pay less, someone's going to pay more as well," Cr Lynne Sheridan said.

A report presented to the committee detailed options, which included reducing the public good component of water charges from 25 per cent to 20 per cent and having public toilets and cemeteries funded by a general rate, rather than a uniform rate.

Manawatu Standard