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ARC clarifies Penalties on Overdue rates - Letter

ARC clarifies Penalties on Overdue rates

17 September 2003

Dear David,

As you are aware, the Council has sought and received legal advice confirming that its rates resolution and its ability to impose penalties comply with statutory requirements.

The letter sent to ratepayers reminds them that they have failed to pay their rates by the due date and that penalties will be imposed, according to the Councils’ rates resolution.

The Council is not demanding payment within 14 days, but rather reminding the ratepayer that there is a due process which will be followed if they are not paid. If rates are paid within 14 days, further collection action would not need to be taken. If rates are not paid in this timeframe, then the collection process will continue.

It is correct that the Council cannot commence proceedings in a Court of law to recover unpaid rates until 4 months after the original due date for payment. However commencing legal proceedings would occur at the end of the collection process as a last resort and we hope that such action will not be necessary. We have scheduled three letters to be sent to ratepayers as reminders, prior to formal proceedings being taken.

The Council has a range of options available to people who are experiencing genuine difficulty meeting their rates bills, as you are aware. If ratepayers are experiencing genuine difficulty we encourage them to call our rates information line on (09) 366 2000 and select option (3) so that we can discuss options available to clear this debt.

I trust that this clears up any misunderstanding over the wording and I assure you that we are not “demanding payment” but rather following normal business practice in reminding ratepayers to pay outstanding debts. This letter will also be posted on the “Scoop” website.

Gwen Bull, JP

Chair, Auckland Regional Council

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