Ratepayers Rebellion Leaders Meet With ARC
Ratepayers Rebellion Leaders Meet With ARC.
No Legal Action Against Non-Paying Rebels Before End Of January
Officers To Repo Rt On Options For Waiving Penalties
Early Consultation Promised On Next Year's Rates Policy.
The ARC will take no action against the estimated 100,000 ratepayers who have withheld all or part of their rates until officers present a report to the Council at the end of January.
Under existing legislation North Shore and Rodney ratepayers in this 'non-paying' category become open to legal action from 6th December, but the undertaking given today to defer any such possible action will bring comfort to protesting ratepayers over the holiday period.
Officials will be required to report fully to the Council in late January on the options for dealing with non-payers and it will then be up to elected ARC councillors to make final decisions.
ARC Chair Gwen Bull emphasised that the Council is not committed in any way to taking any legal action against protesting ratepayers for non or part-payment.
The Council officers' report will also address the options for waiving penalties on those ratepayers who are paying their rates on a 10% per month basis by cheque, direct credit or other means currently unacceptable to the ARC.
While the ARC is still reluctant to confirm actual numbers of 'defaulting' ratepayers it did advise that 45,000 ratepayers have still not made any payment at all. This is a slightly lower figure than earlier reported due to inaccurate information supplied by Manukau City Council.
Information obtained by the Rebellion campaign at the end of October revealed that a further 58,000 plus ratepayers were withholding part of their rates. This is a total of over 100,000 ratepayers who are still 'rebelling' against the ARC rating policy.
The ARC has agreed to consult further with the Rebellion campaign leaders before finalising its proposed rating policy for inclusion in its draft Annual Plan for next year.
Rebellion leaders pointed out that this early consultation was vital because by the time the draft Annual Plan was issued it would be too late to make any substantial changes to the rating policy.
It is anticipated that this early consultation will include options such as business and rural differentials, both land and capital value options, and a uniform annual general charge.
Present at the
meeting were Rebellion leaders John Drury, Ron Mottram,
Grant Taylor and David Thornton. ARC councillors present
were Gwen Bull (chair) Philip Sherry (deputy chair) Mike Lee
and Brian Smith - plus several senior ARC officials