The Gore District Council is deferring the introduction of new urban rating boundaries for two years to help ratepayers experiencing financial pressure due to the economic impact of COVID-19 lockdown.
Expansion of Gore and Mataura’s urban rating boundary was a major feature of the Council’s 2018-2028 10-Year-Plan.
It was the first review in 29 years and was prompted by inconsistencies in rating boundaries. After public consultation, the Council decided to have an urban boundary that reflected a property’s environment or use to bring consistency and fairness, as well as ‘future proofing’.
The introduction of the new boundaries was going to mean significant change for some existing rural ratepayers when they move to urban. Consequently, the Council decided to delay implementation to the 2020/21 financial year.
Councillors were this week unanimous in deciding to further defer implementation of the changes, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and the associated financial pressure it is placing on many households.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the Council was still committed to introducing the boundary changes, however there was no compulsion to do it this year.
“Given the challenges confronting people and the responsibility councils have for their community’s overall wellbeing, it was an easy decision to defer the boundary changes.”
The Council was still looking closely at the budgets for the 2020/21 Annual Plan to identify options it may have to reduce spending and bring any rate increase to as low a level as possible, Mr Hicks said.
Gore District Chief Executive Stephen Parry said the rating boundary change was driven by fairness and consistency issues, not the need for additional income.
“Therefore, apart from having these inconsistencies continue for a bit longer, there’s no financial impact on the Council from deferring implementation.”
You can find an accompanying agenda item on the Gore district council website http://www.goredc.govt.nz/assets/documents/meetings/2020/20200512-Council-Meeting-Agenda.pdf