Note: What if? advises against a rates revolt. Speak with your bank manager or if in doubt seek legal advice before you take any action recommended by Bev Butler and committee below.
Date: 12 February 2009 11:39:45 PM
Subject: Rates Revolt: Stage One
Dear STS members.
Before I discuss STS matters, let me say that the STS Committee, as I hope all of you, deplore the recent actions of some nutter sending hate mail to Cr. Guest and Cr. Fliss Butcher. We hope the police catch the culprit. It would not surprise us if a pro-stadium person did it as a dirty trick to cause trouble for the anti-stadium movement. One indication of this is that it makes absolutely no sense for an anti-stadium person to send hate mail to Cr. Butcher since she has consistently voted against the stadium proceeding.
Now on to STS matters. Yesterday the Otago Regional Council (ORC) provided yet another stay of execution to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, even in the face of the warning to the councillors by the ORC’s chief executive, Graeme Martin, that the stadium project had no less than “13 critical project risks”, and that Malcolm Farry’s lot had failed to reach their agreed target for private funding.
It was clear from the comments made at the ORC meeting by the pro-stadium faction that if the DCC did not meet the funding requirements by the new deadline of March 2, they would vote to extend the ORC deadline further. This, in the face of the fact that the “guaranteed” building price of 165 million has come in with tags, which is all the construction industry needs to cover the costs of the inevitable blowouts. No reputable building firm could afford to risk making an unconditional guaranteed price.
It is now obvious that no outcries from the vast majority of Dunedin citizens, no deadlines, no marches, no opinion polls, no critical project risks, will change the minds of those DCC and ORC councillors who are hell-bent on getting a covered stadium. As such, these DCC and ORC councillors consitute a majority of what has effectively become rogue councils.
These misguided fools will be voted out at the next election. But what do we do now?
The answer is to fight this battle on entirely different grounds. STS will be convening a Public Meeting, at which time a new, rather radical campaign of Resistance will be launched. We have no other choice. You will, of course, be personally notified about the time and place of the Public Meeting.
In the meantime, however, there is Stage 1 of the new battle plan, which many of you can painlessly participate in: If you have a Direct Debit arrangement for paying your DCC rates, cancel it. NOTE:
• There is no bank fee associated with such a cancellation.
• The bank with which you have your mortage, if you have one, has no requirement that you pay your rates via Direct Debit. Direct Debit is just a convenient way for you to pay your rates and an even more convenient way for the payee, in this case the DCC, to be paid.
Here is how you cancel your Direct Debit:
(1) Go to ANY branch of the bank with which you have your Direct Debit. (This might be different from the bank with which you have your mortgage.)
(2) Remember to take with you something showing your bank account number. Also take some identification, like your driver’s license.
(3) Go to any bank teller and tell him/her that you want to cancel your Direct Debit to the Dunedin City Council. (There is no fee for this.)
(4) Most banks say that you should then call the DCC, 477-4000, and tell them you have cancelled your Direct Debit to them. (You will probably need to have your DCC account number which is on your DCC rates statement.)
(5) To make your protest known, tell them that you are cancelling your Direct Debit because of your opposition to the Stadium. They will put you on a list and then send you a scare-tactic letter, telling you of the financial penalties of not paying your rates. (Don’t be scared off. There are no penalties for not paying by Direct Debit.)
The one disadvantage of cancelling your Direct Debit is that you will now have to remember to pay your rates, if you want to, by the due date in order to avoid a 10% penalty. Well before the due date for each quarter, the DCC sends you a statement of the rates amount due, whether or not you have a Direct Debit, so you will have plenty of notification about paying your rates, by cheque or in person. In person is better if you have the time, since it is more trouble for them. (The due dates for this quarter are 30/01/09 for Area 1, 20/02/09 for Areas 2 and 4, and 27/02.09 for Area 3. Your rates bill will tell you what Area you are in.)
Bev Butler. President, Stop the Stadium: http://www.stopthestadium.org.nz/
Dave Witherow, Vice President
Jean Harris, Secretary
John Harris, Treasurer
Carol Sawyer, Volunteer Coordinator