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Local govt welcomes proposed rates rebates changes

Local government welcomes proposed rates rebates changes


An increase in the income limit for rates rebates is welcomed and well overdue, says Local Government New Zealand ’s President Basil Morrison.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement that from next year’s budget it will be increasing the rates rebate income level from $7,400 a year to $20,000 a year, increasing the maximum rebate and the additional income allowance for dependents. This has been a serious issue for local government for some time and one that Local Government New Zealand has been actively pursuing. We are thrilled that it is finally being addressed.”

Our member councils acknowledge that paying rates has been difficult for constituents who have assets but low income. This will help that group of people, particularly superannuitants who own their own home.”

Mr Morrison said that in recent times additional responsibilities and new expectations from communities have placed many councils under funding pressures. Local Government New Zealand is having discussions with the Government about whether new funding sources other than property rates are needed.

“We see this as part of a larger commitment by Government to focus on the sustainability of local government funding. Rates rebates are part of a wider ranging discussion of funding for local government, which also includes, for example, the question of Crown contributions in lieu of rates on Crown properties. This would address the fact that the Government owns many properties throughout New Zealand but doesn’t pay rates on these properties. We look forward to our next discussions with Government on funding at the joint Central/Local Government Forum,” said Mr Morrison.

Ends

Local Government New Zealand is the national voice of all 86 councils of New Zealand.

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