ABOUT 9700 ratepayers and 1250 market vendors in the Western Division will find relief in a decision not to increase rates and fees for next year.
Lautoka, Ba and Tavua special administrator Praveen Bala said the decision was made because the three centres were still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Evan that swept through the division last year.
"During budget discussions last week for the Lautoka, Ba and Tavua municipal councils, a resolution was passed not to increase rates for next year and the reason the West suffered considerably from TC Evan," he said.
"We decided not to increase the rates but having said that, we ask that when residents receive rates notices that they pay up because of the costs associated with providing basic services."
Mr Bala added that apart from reducing the burden on residents, rates would also not be increased for market vendors, carrier operators and bus companies.
"We have also seen bus companies are spending lots of money in upgrading facilities and improving services through the purchase of new buses and it would place undue burden on them to increase fees and charges at this time.
"They are investing in public transport and this is notable for big companies in the Western Division.
"For carriers and taxis, we know they are finding it difficult because there are a lot of people providing these services and many are not getting their just returns."