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Three out of four applicants get full Rebate

21Aug06.doc>>

Three out of four Christchurch applicants getting full Rates Rebate

In the first month administering the Government's upgraded rates rebate scheme, Christchurch City Council has processed more than 3300 applications worth about $1,500,000.

In July the Council took more than 3000 calls from people asking about the scheme and sent out more than 2000 application packs. Designed to assist ratepayers on low incomes, the rebate can be up to $500 a year, up from a maximum of $200 previously. The rebate depends on a combination of income, the amount of rates to be paid and the number of dependants.

In Christchurch, a fully serviced average home (worth $260,000) attracts City Council rates of $1176. The city has about 150,000 ratepayers and the council has estimated as many as 30,000 could qualify for the rebate.

Of the 1620 applications processed during July, the average rebate was $457.57, with 1170 ratepayers (72 per cent) getting the full $500.

"Our final set of first quarter rates demands has now been posted out, including the information brochure about the scheme, so we expect August will be either as busy or busier with people asking about the scheme," says Roy Baker, the council's corporate services general manager.

"We'd like people to know that they can still wait a while to apply and still get a full year's rebate," Mr Baker says.

ENDS


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