The Rotorua District Council is considering a last-minute appeal by Rotorua businesses and community organisations to put a cap on proposed rates increases.
However, at least one Rotorua district councillor does not like their chances.
On Tuesday, about 50 business, professional and community organisation representatives held a meeting with Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and councillors.
They said a proposed change to capital value rating put forward under the council's Long Term Plan for 2012-22 would have a grossly unfair impact on a substantial number of the largest businesses in the district, leading to real economic harm.
Councillors gave the green light to a change to capital value rating earlier this month, saying it was a much fairer way to allocate rates across the district.
The delegation asked the council to cap the maximum rates increase to 25 per cent for business, farming and residential ratepayers saying some employers in the city were up for rates increases as high as 169 per cent.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Roger Gordon said it was not just big business facing massive rates increases.
"Those at the meeting said all the information they had received from the council during the consultation period on the rating change had led them to believe their rates would rise by 10-11 per cent.
"They were prepared to accept such increases but had learned only last week, after setting their budgets and investment and employment plans for the next financial year, that many faced much bigger rises," Mr Gordon said.
He said two major Reporoa employers would see their rates more than double, and three of the largest community clubs in the city - The CT Club, the RSA and the Citizens Club - would see their rates go up by more than 50 per cent.
But chairman of the council's economic and regulatory services committee Mike McVicker said he did not believe councillors would change the rating model at such late notice.
Councillors are expected to sign off on the Long Term Plan at an extraordinary meeting of the council tomorrow.
"I do have some serious concerns about the increases. I for one did not appreciate the significance of those increases," Mr McVicker said.
"We've been inundated by messages from the business community saying this is really going to hurt ... I will be voting against the changes but I don't think we will get the numbers to overturn our earlier decision."
Councillor Charles Sturt, who has been an outspoken opponent of the change to capital value rating, said the whole process had been misleading and supported local business in their attack on the proposed model.
"I do not support capping the rates increase. As I've always said, we cannot have a pure capital value model without differentials, otherwise we should revert back to a hybrid land value and capital value model as agreed to by council in 2009."
Mr Winters could not be reached for comment before the article went to print.