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Let us know if your house is demolished

21 March 2012

Let us know if your house is demolished

Make sure your rates bill is up to date by letting the Christchurch City Council know if your house has been demolished.

The Council will have your property revalued if a house is demolished, and adjust next year's rates bill accordingly - this can mean a significant reduction in rates. Current legislation and Council policy do not allow the Council to adjust rates within the financial year.

Council's General Manager Corporate Services Paul Anderson says that many demolitions occurred without consent immediately following the earthquakes and the Council may not be aware if a house has been knocked-down or removed from a property.

"If we don't know about it, we can't update your rates account," Mr Anderson says. "By calling the Council and letting us know about residential demolitions, we can ensure you are paying the correct amount of rates.

"We are doing a lot already to keep ourselves as up-to-date as possible on demolitions, such as collecting demolition information from CERA and through the Council's call centre. However, there may be a large number we still don't know about.

"While the Council can adjust rates retrospectively, it is easier for residents and for our staff if we get it right the first time," Mr Anderson says.

Residents can call the Council Call Centre on 941 8999 or 0800 800 169, and ask for the rates team, to let the Council know if a house has been demolished.

In addition to adjusting the capital value of properties where a building has been demolished, the Council is also seeking permission from Central Government through an Order in Council to further change the way rates are levied throughout the year. The aim is to allow the Council to adjust rates throughout the year to reflect when a new house is completed, as well as reducing rates levied to land value only once a building has been demolished. Rates are calculated on the combined value of the land and any structures on that land (the capital value). At the moment, the rates can not change throughout the year even if structures are built that would increase the capital value.

While the Council is waiting for the Government's approval for this Order in Council, which would allow us to change rates throughout the year, the Council is using the Rates Remissions Policy it put in place to provide rates relief to the most affected ratepayers. This policy provides for:

* 40 per cent rates remission for residential properties that are unable to be occupied.

* 30 per cent rates remission for businesses located within the cordoned Red Zone.

* 30 per cent rates remission for businesses outside the Red Zone that can not be occupied because they are adjacent to dangerous buildings.

* 100 per cent rates remission to owners of Port Hills properties at risk of rockfall, cliff collapse, unsafe access and who have been instructed by the Council to leave their properties under section 124 (1) (b) of the Building Act.

ENDS

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