### ODT Online Thu, 8 Apr 2010
GST rise would push rates up
By Chris Morris
Ratepayers across Otago face the possibility of unscheduled rates hikes within months if the Government confirms plans to lift GST as high as 15%. The warning came from most Otago councils yesterday, after Dunedin City Council finance and corporate support general manager Athol Stephens highlighted the likely effect of an expected GST hike.
In Dunedin, the increase would add an additional 1.67% to city council rates forecasts for the 2010-11 financial year, taking the rise from 5.3% to 6.97%. A further 0.55% jump would occur in 2011-12, from 9% to 9.55%.
The cost of the council’s planned capital expenditure programme – including the Forsyth Barr Stadium – would not be affected, as the council could claim back GST on capital projects, making increases “cash neutral”.
-Athol Stephens, DCC finance and corporate support general manager
Post by Elizabeth Kerr