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Rates Assistance Packages Offered

Auckland City Council - City Scene

More rates help is being offered by Auckland City this year to particularly assist families
who have low incomes but large water bills. Under the Council's expanded rates rebate scheme, qualifying ratepayers may receive a rebate or discount of up to $300 on their rates bills.

Applications for the rebates open on August 2, when a Rates Help brochure will be available at community libraries and Citizens Advice Bureaux. Also from August 2, a special Rates Help line will operate on Ph 379 2025.

Chairperson of the Council's Finance and Property Committee, Councillor Kay McKelvie, says ratepayers who qualify will generally be larger families with lower than average household incomes but higher than average water bills.

"While many other households have benefited from the removal of water and wastewater from rates, these households are suffering because their water bills are very high."

The Council is also offering a more flexible rates postponement programme this year.

Under the scheme, ratepayers may apply to Auckland City to have either part or all of their rates postponed for a certain period and catch up on the payments later. They are charged interest on the unpaid rates at current market rates.

Councillor McKelvie says the postponement scheme may suit elderly people whose modest incomes do not cover the rates payable on a family home which has increased in value.

"The scheme means they can continue to live in their family home until they are ready to move. The unpaid rates and accumulating interest become a debt on the property and are repaid when their home is sold, or their estate is settled."

Council has expanded the scheme, says Councillor McKelvie, so that people who lose income temporarily (perhaps because of an accident or illness) can apply to have their rates postponed.

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