Over half (57 percent) of the respondents who shared their views on the proposed rates said that they did not accept the need for the increase and think that Council should find a different way to deal with cost increases. The main reason given for opposition was that rates increases result in hardship and unaffordability. Council’s view is that the district’s key need at this time is for investment to help stimulate recovery and prepare for the future. When asked, the community agreed that investing for resilience and growth is the right approach for Council to take at this time. We also need to make some catch-ups after a lower than proposed increase last year in response to COVID-19. The Council is very mindful that affordability of increasing rates is a concern. Council has added $50,000 per year to its rates remission fund that will potentially provide rates assistance to a further 167 households on top of the current level of uptake. The reality is we are highly dependent on rates. Revenue from rates makes up around three-quarters of Council’s income. Through this Long-term Plan Council will explore other ways to generate an income. * We use the Local Government Cost Index (LGCI) to measure inflation, rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) because the LGCI refers specifically to costs councils face.