Horizons' rates "out of control" - 28/03/2006Mayor Michael Laws has slammed the Horizons Regional Council as "a bloated outfit that is seeking to impose its inefficiency upon Wanganui and regional ratepayers".
"Their proposed rate increases are unacceptable – there is not one element of restraint to their appetite. We don't need a regional council and this latest rates demand certainly reminds us of that."
The proposed rate increase across the region represents a 9.7 percent increase but they are much higher for Wanganui ratepayers. Those increases are:
Wanganui Urban + 24.7%
Wanganui Rural + 51.8%
Wanganui Commercial + 9.5%
"These sort of increases are simply unacceptable. This is a regional council with no debt and significant reserves. In other words, they are under no fiscal pressure at all. Yet their bloated Palmerston North-based bureaucracy continues its insatiable appetite for Wanganui money."
Mr Laws said that "it is time for Wanganui and our neighbouring territorial authorities to think of establishing a unitary authority. Horizons offers little to Wanganui rural ratepayers and nothing to Wanganui urban ratepayers".