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Retirement village rates rebates need examining

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Minister of Local Government

30 September 2016

Retirement village rates rebates need examining

Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says the rules around rates rebates for people who live in retirement villages need to be looked at.

“Most people living in retirement villages do not own their home but have a Licence to Occupy arrangement instead. As a result, they are not directly liable for paying rates to the council and do not qualify for a rebate under the Rates Rebate Scheme,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The Rates Rebate Scheme was established in the 1970s to assist home owners on low incomes to pay their council rates.

“Most retirement village operators, who are liable to pay rates to the council, charge a portion of the total rates to village residents along with other costs such as insurance, maintenance and management fees. So residents do, in fact, end up paying rates,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“We need to review the rates rebate scheme to help retirement village residents on low incomes keep a roof over their head.”

“New Zealand has an ageing population and there is an increasing need to address issues around aged care and housing affordability.”

“The government will support the private member’s bill which seeks to deal with this issue through its first reading so that the bill will proceed to Select Committee. This will enable a proper review of the Scheme and the Select Committee will be able to look at various options to support elderly residents in retirement villages.”

“The bill as it is currently drafted does not properly resolve the legal impediment. However, the issue is one that needs consideration,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

“I look forward to working with the Select Committee and officials to come up with a workable solution that also addresses the wider implications of the Rates Rebate Scheme.”

ends

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