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Ratepayers take advantage of rebate scheme


9 August 2006

Ratepayers take advantage of improved rebate scheme

Almost 500 Manukau city ratepayers have applied for rates rebates just one week after receiving their bills.

Government criteria for its rebate scheme have changed, with the income threshold increased to $20,000 from $7400, and the maximum rebate up from $200 to $500. In addition, the income allowance has risen to $500 for each dependant, from $156.

Manukau City Council Finance Director Dave Foster says the increased number of applications, compared with around 150 last year, indicates the change was extremely timely.

“People who are on more than $20,000 could also be eligible and we urge all those on low incomes to check on our website to calculate their eligibility, or call us,” Mr Foster says.

Applications for the rates rebate can be made at any time throughout the year.

“It’s also important for people to know about and take advantage of, if necessary, our rates relief policy, which allows those who are in hardship to defer their rates payments.”

The scheme allows payments to be delayed, if necessary until death, after which the estate would meet the payments.

“This is intended to help people on low incomes, in particular superannuitants who might be on low, fixed incomes but own a highly valuable property,” Mr Foster says.

Rates deferment is not granted automatically, and the final decision is determined by the applicant’s financial situation. Anyone wanting to apply should call the council call centre of 262 5104.

ENDS

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