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April update: Keeping rates affordable

Canterbury’s Mayors and the Chair of Environment Canterbury are acutely aware of the cost to individuals, families, businesses and communities as our nation responds to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Mayoral Forum is meeting weekly to co-ordinate response and recovery planning and has endorsed the measures councils are taking to offer support to people and businesses facing rates payment challenges.

The Forum has noted that local authorities are losing non-rates revenue during the COVID-19 crisis – for example, from consenting fees and charges, development contributions, dividends and investment income and closure of community facilities.

Individual councils are considering assistance measures in relation to fourth-quarter rates. Each council is also reviewing its rating intentions for 2020/21 and subsequent years against its capacity to borrow and opportunities for re-prioritisation.
Mayoral Forum Chair Sam Broughton said:

“Councils are working hard to mitigate the immediate and long-term financial impacts of this crisis. Each council’s financial position is different, so each council needs to strike its own balance between rates affordability, maintaining essential services and delivering on commitments agreed with communities.”

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