Rates Remission for Homeowners in Extreme Financial Hardship
Council recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout will have financial consequences for a portion of our ratepayers, including businesses.
This consultation proposal for an extension to our Rates Remission Policy reflects Council’s desire to have greater flexibility and options to assist homeowners in this position while maintaining financial prudence, essential services and programmes.
The aim is to help support and maintain our communities by helping ratepayers to recover financially and protect our future revenue.
The current Rates Remission Policy contains remissions covering the following conditions:
- Charges on Contiguous Properties
- Charges on Non-Contiguous Properties
- Uninhabitable Dwellings or Properties affected by Natural Disaster
- Clubs and Societies
- Community Organisations
- New Subdivisions
- Land-Locked Land
The proposed extension to the Rates Remission Policy will add a ninth condition underwhich a rates remission will be considered being:
- Homeowner Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) remission
- Ratepayers must apply to Council in writing by 30 April for the next financial year except for the 2020/21 Financial Year where they must apply by 31 July 2020.
- The maximum remission is the UAGC (all service charges and general rates still apply)
- The applicant’s sole income must be from a Central Government benefit, or their income must be at or below the Central Government Job Seekers benefit.
- Proof of (total household) income is required
- The property must be classified as a residential rating category (companies, trusts and other ownership structures do not qualify)
- The applicant must own, and live at the property.
- Council must be satisfied that all other options open to the ratepayer have been exhausted (inc. savings, bank and government assistance)
- The applicant cannot receive the Government Rate Rebate Scheme as well as a remission under this Policy, for the same Rating Year
- The applicant’s total assets must not exceed the “total assets” as set out in Council’ Postponement Policy (see www.ruapehudc.govt.nz under our-services/rates)
- The remission must be applied for annually