30 Jun 2011

Christchurch council approves 7.1% rates rise

3:44 pm on 30 June 2011

Christchurch City Council has signed off its annual budget which includes a rates rise of 7.1%.

A devastating earthquake on 22 February affected the normal annual plan process, prompting a complete revision of the budget, capital projects and levels of service.

A rates increase of 5.34% was proposed before the quake but an additional 1.76% was approved on Thursday to pay for a predicted deficit of $73.8 million over the next three years.

The council has also decided to continue its 40% tates rebate for residents who cannot live in their quake-damaged homes.

For businesses who cannot use their premises, a 30% rebate will apply.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says the council has struck a very fair rates rise in the face of devastating earthquakes in Canterbury.

Mr Parker told Morning Report the financial situation is very difficult to predict and there are many who would say the rate rise could have been much more.

The council has worked very hard to keep the cost down in an extraordinary situation where it and community have a huge amount of work to do, he says.

The annual plan comes into effect on Friday.