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Regional rates payments - made easy

Regional rates payments - made easy

Ratepayers will have a number of different options for paying when they receive a separate regional rates bill from July this year.

“We will make it as easy as possible for people to pay their regional rates bill, in a way that is convenient for them,” says ARC Chairperson Gwen Bull.

Payment options include spreading their payments over 10 months by direct debit if they wish; or by cheque in reply-paid envelopes. Payments can also be made in cash, by cheque, or by EFTPOS over the counter at any Post Shop in the country; or alternatively over the counter at the ARC main offices in Pitt Street in Auckland City.

Bills will be sent to the region’s 450,000+ ratepayers between 7 July and 18 August this year.

“In keeping with regional rates proposals made last year, the ARC has favoured policies which are simple and fair,” said ARC Chairperson Gwen Bull.

The Council will propose formal rating policies as part of its annual plan, which will be open for submission from April 1-30. These include policies on postponement of payment, and rates remission, as well as discount incentives for early payment, and late payment penalties.

“The ARC is proposing broad based policies which take into account circumstances of extreme financial hardship,” says Councillor Gwen Bull, “as well as take into account other exceptional circumstances that may impact on the ratepayer”.

Councillors earlier discussed how regional rates will be calculated. The ARC has proposed:

adopting capital value as the basis for general rates

that there will be no uniform annual general charge (UAGC)

that there will be no business or rural differentials applied

the only targeted rates will be for public transport and biosecurity

The ARC is proposing that utilities are rated the same way as all other rateable units, though they will be exempt from the targeted public transport rates.

All these decisions will be part of the ARC’s Annual Plan and open to public comment.

“The public are welcome to make submissions on these and any other proposals during the consultation process on the ARC’s Annual Plan, which takes place in April 2003,” says Councillor Gwen Bull.

The ARC will hold formal public consultations in April 2003 on all policy proposals about regional rates, inviting interested members of the public to give their views. The ARC will place public notices and information in local papers, in libraries, and on its website, and will distribute the draft Annual Plan to interest groups. The consultation period will conclude at the end of April 2003, and final decisions on rating policy will be made in June, in advance of the delivery date for rates invoices, in July and August.

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