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Many more people eligible for Rates Rebates Scheme

Many more people eligible for Rates Rebates Scheme

More people will be eligible for assistance to pay their rates when improvements to the Rates Rebates Scheme take effect on July 1, Local Government Minister Mark Burton said today.

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More people will be eligible for assistance to pay their rates when improvements to the Rates Rebates Scheme take effect on July 1, Local Government Minister Mark Burton said today.

The comments mark today's formal gazetting of changes to the Rates Rebates Scheme, which were announced in April last year.

The Rates Rebate Scheme, which was established in 1973, provides a subsidy to low-income households to help pay their rates. The changes taking effect on 1 July 2006 are:

·An increase in the maximum rebate from $200 to $500;
·In most cases the income threshold under which people will be eligible for a full rebate is to increase from $7400 to $20,000; and,
·An increase in the additional income allowance for each dependant from $156 to $500.

"Whereas in the 2004/05 rating year less than 4000 people actually received a rebate, up to 300,000 New Zealanders will be eligible for a rates rebate under the new scheme," Mark Burton said. "The changes will also see a significant increase in the maximum size of the rebate available."

"This Government is committed to ensuring that all New Zealand families are secure," Mark Burton said.

"The changes to the Rates Rebates Scheme will be beneficial for many New Zealanders particularly for older people and others on lower fixed incomes."

People seeking a rebate should contact their local council once they receive their 2006 rates bill for the new rating year.

More details are available at: www.dia.govt.nz/ratesrebates

ENDS

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