Applications Open For COVID-19 Rates Rebate
Applications for Hamilton City Council’s extended rates rebate as part of its COVID-19 support package are now open.
The extended rates rebate is a key action in our 12-point recovery plan to help Hamilton withstand the impact of COVID-19.
The Council has initially agreed to fund $280,000 of rebates to provide targeted support for residential ratepayers whose employment and/or income has been directly affected by COVID-19.
To be eligible for the rebate, ratepayers need to show how their household income has been reduced as a result of COVID-19, and have a minimal level of savings and investments.
Ratepayers who have received financial support (benefit/accommodation supplement) from Work and Income (WINZ) as a result of COVID-19 and have less than $20,545 in savings or investments will qualify. Other ratepayers whose incomes have been significantly impacted but are not receiving WINZ support may also apply. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The rebate will apply to the final rates instalment for 2019/20, due in late May. The value of the rebate is up to 50% of the instalment, for a maximum of $549.
Ratepayers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 but aren’t eligible for the rebate are encouraged to contact us to discuss a payment plan. Please phone 07 838 6688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Executive Richard Briggs hopes the rebate provides some much-needed relief for Hamiltonian property owners who have been hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19.
“While the next instalment of rates isn’t due until late May, we’re encouraging ratepayers to apply now so they can budget for the coming weeks,” he says.
“Prior to COVID-19, we already had one of the most, if not the most, extensive rebate schemes of any council in New Zealand. I’m proud we’re extending this even further to help relieve the financial strain for those eligible ratepayers.”
We are one of only a few councils that offer additional assistance to low-income ratepayers, on top of the nationwide rates rebate supported by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
The Council’s rebate saved around 500 ratepayers around $250,000 on the cost of their rates in 2018/19.
The extended rate rebate will also be available in 2020/21. Details of what that will look like will be shared with the community as soon as possible.