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Warm Welcome For Rates Rebate Applicants

Warm Welcome For Rates Rebate Applicants

Hastings District Council is welcoming those coming in to apply for a rates rebate, with a cup of tea or coffee and a ‘queue minder’ to make the whole process easier and friendlier. “There’s talk all over the country about rates at the moment, now the Government has changed the thresholds for rates rebates we’ve got lots of people coming in to apply, we want to help them as much as possible to get money they’re entitled to,” said Ross Franklin, the Council’s Corporate Services Manager.

Volunteers from Theatre Hawke’s Bay are providing support as queue minders to Council Officers processing rebate applications. Ross Franklin says the volunteers have made a big difference to the experience ratepayers have when they come in.

“People enjoy the atmosphere. It’s better than just sitting there waiting for your turn. The queue minder lets them know how long the wait is, gives them a form and helps them get started on their application. They enjoy having someone to chat to while they wait and they appreciate the cup of tea we give them when they come in,” Mr Franklin said. Hastings District Council is trialling the queue minder initiative and if demand continues will keep the volunteers on for another few weeks.

“This is our busiest time, but we’ve had about 800 applications and we know we’ve got about 4000 ratepayers in Hastings District who are eligible. We’re amazed at the number of surprised people who didn’t think they’d get a rebate but come out the Council with a big smile on their face,” said Mr Franklin. He also said the $20,000 threshold publicised wasn’t entirely correct, with some applicants on $40,000 still being eligible.

Ross Franklin is also visiting groups in Hastings District to explain the new rates rebate thresholds and how to apply.

ENDS

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