The Southland District Council has approved a 2.31 per cent rate rise, and will look at rates relief for those suffering financial hardship on a case-by-case basis.
The rise is less than the council’s long term plan forecast of 3.27 per cent, and also less than the 2.65% initially proposed earlier this year.
Ratepayer advocacy groups have been calling for rate freezes as a result of Covid-19, with one petition gaining more than 10,000 signatures.
The council approved the rates increase at a meeting on Tuesday, as part of adopting its annual plan.
The council also decided to borrow $20 million and forecast to record a net deficit of $4.8m this coming financial year.
The loan was effectively for the Te Anau Airport Manapouri and its community that had been cut off from tourists since the pandemic.
Ratepayers in that area would also have their rates cut from $128 to $67.69, in response to the financial impacts of Covid-19.
Some councillors raised concerns about the rates increase back in April, and supported a zero increase when coronavirus first hit.