Rates Rebate Scheme Unfair to Some Ratepayers
THE CAMPAIGN TO REPLACE THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF COUNCIL RATES WITH A FAIRER SYSTEM INCLUDING RESTRAINTS ON COUNCILS ABILITY TO INCREASE EXPENDITURE WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC APPROVAL OF THE COMMUNITY
Media release 5th July 2006
Council Rates Rebate Scheme Unfair to Some Ratepayers.
Water ‘Rates’do Not Qualify for Rates Rebate in Half of Auckland Region.
The revised council rates rebate scheme which came into effect on 1st July promised up to $500 rebate for ratepayers with annual net incomes below $20,000.
The rates against which this rebate can be claimed include all rates charged by local and regional councils.
However charges for water and wastewater services provided by council controlled organisations, and other providers contracted by local authorities, are not included in rates – and cannot therefore be included in the calculations for claiming rates rebates.
This could be bad news for some ratepayers in Auckland City, Manukau City and Papakura whose water and wastewater is not charged directly by the council and therefore not taken into account for claiming a rebate. These councils include about half of the residential ratepayers in the region
For example, if a ratepayer has a gross income of $29,800 and pays city and regional rates totalling $1930, plus water and wastewater rates of $350 – a total of $2280 – that ratepayer is eligible for a total rates rebate of $188.33, if he or she lives anywhere in the Auckland region except Auckland City, Manukau City and Papakura Distinct.
Water and wastewater services in those areas are provided by, and billed by, either Metrowater [Auckland] Manukau Water Ltd [Manukau] or United Water International Pty Ltd [Papakura]
Ratepayers in those areas on the same gross income level cannot claim for their water ‘rates’ so can only claim against a total rates bill of $1930, which does not qualify for any rebate.
Ratepayers in other parts of the region are billed directly by their local councils for water and wastewater and can include those costs in their rebate calculations and qualify for the rebate.
This is grossly unfair and again highlights the complexity and stupidity of our rating system.
We are asking the government to correct this unfair situation immediately so that all water charges can be included in the calculation for rates rebates before rates bills are sent out this year.
Organiser – NoMoreRates.com
[Please note the camapign website is not yet operating]