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Amnesty Another Modest Victory For Ratepayers

16 December 2004

Rates Amnesty Another Modest Victory For Ratepayers

The Auckland Regional Council, at a meeting of its Finance Committee yesterday, has agreed to give rebel ratepayers an opportunity to pay off any rates withheld as part of the rates rebellion last year.

This action follows submissions by leaders of the Rates Rebellion campaign, to the November meeting of the ARC, calling for 'time to pay' for those thousands of people who are still refusing to pay rates for the 2003/4 year.

Rates Rebellion asked for ratepayers to be given up to twelve months to pay and the ARC has now agreed to six months, without any further penalties being imposed.

Rates Rebellion spokesman David Thornton says "While this is a compromise solution it is hopefully the first step in bringing the rebellion to an orderly and acceptable conclusion, and is another modest victory in our campaign for a fair rating system. "There are still questions about the legality and fairness of penalties already charged by the ARC and we shall pursue that issue in the New Year. "We are also amazed that the ARC does not seem to know how many thousands of rebel ratepayers will be affected by this latest offer. "The council refuses to give us the figure which its says is of little interest"

The council says it will be making the offer to all ratepayers owing more than $25. Rates Rebellion believes that there are many thousands of people in this category.

ENDS


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