Christchurch rates bill upsets some residents

8:38 am on 9 May 2011

Some homeowners in the Christchurch suburb of Dallington are frustrated at having to pay full rates when sewers are still broken and roads sub-standard following the earthquake in February.

Ratepayers in some of the hardest hit areas of Christchurch are receiving their first quarterly rates bills since the 6.3 magnitude quake.

One Dallington resident, Tracey Askew, says the council has told her she is not eligible for a rebate because she's still living in her house and cannot prove it is going to be demolished.

Her property has been officially classified as having suffered very severe or major damage.

Mrs Thompson says it's unfair that she's expected to pay for basic services she isn't receiving.

Christchurch deputy mayor Ngaire Button says despite a broken sewerage system, the council cannot offer discounted rates because chemical toilets and portaloos are a huge expense.

She says the council has had to purchase 28,000 chemical toilets and, while it's not the level of service it would like to provide, someone has to pay for it.

Ms Button says the council hasn't had time revalue all the properties since the quake, but that will happen over time.

Christchurch City Council says a relief package is available for the worst-affected properties, but it expects only about 2000 will qualify.