6 Jun 2012

Christchurch council looking at rates relief options

5:39 am on 6 June 2012

Christchurch City Council is investigating its options to provide rates relief for some earthquake-affected residents.

In April this year, councillors voted 10-4 against full relief for owners of uninhabitable homes. However, the council has now commissioned a report into other funding options.

The full cost is estimated at up to $7.3 million, which would add a further 2% increase to the 7.47% rates increase the council has already proposed.

Councillor Glen Livingston supports a 100% rebate, saying it could be funded by delaying repairs to buildings that are not urgent, such as two car parks in the city.

A report on funding options will be presented to the council on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce wants the council to be brave in its future decision-making.

The council continued to hear submissions on its draft annual plan on Tuesday.

The Chamber of Commerce says it would prefer to see asset sales and shareholding sell-downs instead of rates increases.

Chief executive Peter Townsend told the council it must look at all kinds of funding options, such as public-private partnerships with the likes of hotels and other large scale businesses in the community.

Mr Townsend says the council can not accept mediocrity and urged councillors to be brave in their decision-making over the design of the future city.