Councillors Consider Rates Relief Package For Ratepayers
Waikato Regional Council is considering options for a rates relief package for ratepayers facing financial hardship.
Chairman Russ Rimmington says prolonged economic impacts are expected for our communities and the regional council wanted to be able to help ease the financial burden for Waikato households.
The options being considered, and which were workshopped by the council today, include rates remission and postponement policies, flexibility in the period over which rates payments can be made, and the setting of a zero rates impact budget for the 2020/21 financial year.
“We’re looking at deferring the due date for paying rates being from 31 October to 31 December, for instance, and promoting options to spread rates payments over the course of the year. We’re also looking a remission for those suffering greatest hardship.”
Russ says while the council’s rates bill is unlikely to be the biggest bill the majority of Waikato people will face, councillors recognise the accumulative impact of all expenses for those who are struggling.
“I’ve never seen the council so unanimous over anything. We do not want to add to the financial burden on our communities at this point in time.”
Any changes to rates remission and postponement policies would be subject to public consultation.
A decision on the rates relief package will be made at the next full council meeting at the end of the month.