### ODT Online Tue, 9 Mar 2010
ORC opts for zero rates rise
By Rebecca Fox
No general rate increase is planned by the Otago Regional Council in the coming financial year. Last year’s long-term council community plan listed a 2% rates rise for 2010-11, but the council’s draft annual plan proposes no movement in the general rate. However, the long-term plan’s provisions for rates rises in targeted rating areas – including the Taieri, Clutha (drainage and flood protection works) and in Queenstown (new bus services) – remain.
### ODT Online Fri, 12 Mar 2010
Editorial: Regional rates
A rare piece of good news emerged for beleaguered ratepayers this week: the Otago Regional Council draft annual plan shows no increase in the general rate. The ORC chairman points out it is a draft budget only, but nevertheless, how refreshing. Why can’t other councils do the same? To be fair, as a regional council, the ORC is not charged with those large and expensive tasks like supplying water, processing sewage or maintaining roads which fall to district and city councils. But, as clearly evidenced in the Canterbury regional council’s woes, the regulatory and planning demands are exacting and no easier with every passing year.
Before becoming too enthusiastic about no general rate rise, it is worth noting that the bulk of regional rates for most people are “targeted”. These include rates for transport (subsidising buses, now including in Queenstown), the Forsyth Barr Stadium, clean air, river management and flood and drainage schemes.
12.3.10 ORC to focus on water quality
Post by Elizabeth Kerr