Reaction to the Wanganui District Council's introduction of a debt-reduction levy and an earthquake-strengthening levy yesterday was mixed.
Whanganui Employers Chamber of Commerce president Jenny Duncan said while the levies were "not ideal", they were necessary.
"We have to be sensible about our earthquake-prone buildings. What are the alternatives? We bowl them all over?"
Ms Duncan said she was pleased to hear the council would be paying back more of its debt. "We need to drive the debt down so we have to pay more. It's simple money management."
Ms Duncan said she believed the council had done all it could to keep rates low, but it was in a difficult position. "It's a balancing act between progress and affordability."
Graham Adams, president of the Wanganui Grey Power Association, was adamantly opposed to both levies.
"Both of them can be justified, but the current economic climate is not the time to do it."
Mr Adams said the levies would be hard to pay for young and old alike. "It will impact on hard-working young couples just as much as it will on retired people with fixed incomes, who have to watch every dollar."
Mr Adams said Grey Power members would have been satisfied with a 4 per cent rates increase.