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"Complex Question" Of Unlawfully Collected Rates

Government To Address "Complex Question" Of Unlawfully Collected Rates


Local Government Minister Sandra Lee says the "complex question" of unlawfully collected rates estimated by Local Government New Zealand to affect about 12,000 multiple units like apartment blocks will be discussed by Government ministers next week.

Ms Lee confirmed today that she had put a range of options to her Cabinet colleagues. These included at one end taking no action and letting the law take its natural course, and at the other, passing validating legislation to retrospectively legalise the rating of individual tenants in multiple tenant single title properties such as blocks of flats, apartment buildings or shopping malls.

She said the Court of Appeal last year effectively ruled that local authorities could not levy separate uniform annual charges against individual tenants in such dwellings. The Minister said Local Government New Zealand was considering a Privy Council appeal, but indicated to her that it would prefer another solution.

"Officials have identified several options including one that could be described as a 'middle-way' which I expect will be discussed next week," she said. "It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment until after the next Cabinet meeting."

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