LE should cut costs, not raise prices Porter

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Queenstown’s business leader is surprised council-owned regulatory quango Lakes Environmental is increasing fees to fight falling revenue.

Queenstown Lakes District Council this week allowed LE to increase charge-out rates between one and 29 per cent.

“[I will be] interested to see what efforts have been made to cut costs as an alternative to increasing revenue,” Chamber of Commerce president Alastair Porter says.

“For most businesses, the only option in difficult times is to cut costs, not to put your prices up.”

LE charges for services such as liquor licensing, building and resource consents and dog control.

It wants to raise fees because of a drop in building and resource consent revenue.

Porter: “Since [LE] is being run as a unit separate from council, my first expectation would be that there would have been significant effort to cut costs as an alternative to raising prices.”

He says his board has yet to discuss the issue but expects it to lodge a submission.

These can be made from now till May 29 and will be heard on June 4-5 in conjunction with submissions on QLDC’s 10-year plan.