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More people entitled to rates assistance in North

More people entitled to rates assistance in North Shore City

July 13, 2006

Changes to the Rates Rebate Scheme established by central government should see more people eligible for a rates rebate on their North Shore City Council rates.

North Shore City’s financial services manager, John McLaren, says the scheme will benefit people who pay rates for the home in which they live and whose incomes are low.

“Changes to the scheme mean that more people will be able to save on their rates bill and, in some cases, people could save up to $500.”

Mr McLaren says it’s difficult to know how many people will benefit from the government’s scheme as councils do not have access to income figures. Estimates vary and it may be thousands of people in North Shore City.

All North Shore City ratepayers will receive a brochure enclosed with their July rates bill in the next few days. The brochure explains the government scheme, includes a household income table and gives steps to follow if people think they may be eligible for a rebate.

The steps people can follow when applying for a rebate:
- Calculate if they are eligible for a rebate by using the rebate calculator from the Department of Internal Affairs website www.ratesrebate.govt.nz or contact the council on 486 8600.
- Fill in an application form to apply for the rates rebate. Forms are available from council area offices, by calling 486 8600 or by downloading the form from www.ratesrebates.govt.nz.
- To avoid delays, people can complete the form, getting their signature witnessed (as noted on the form) and posting the form to North Shore City Council, Rates Department, Private Bag 93500, Takapuna, 0740.

John McLaren says people who need help working out if they are eligible for a rebate or who are having trouble paying their rates, should call North Shore City Rates Department on 486 8600 to discuss the matter in confidence. People may also come the council’s at 1 The Strand, Takapuna to meet with staff.

“However, there may be some significant delays depending on the number of people who turn up, so I would advise people to post in their witnessed application if possible,”he says.

ENDS

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