Rates re­bate plan in works for vil­lages

Central Leader - - NEWS -

An in­crease to a rates re­bate scheme could be on the way.

Auck­land Coun­cil has asked the Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board for feed­back on a plan to in­crease the rates re­bate for re­tire­ment vil­lages from $385 to $500.

This is in re­sponse to the re­cent rate in­creases to cover the $114 tar­geted trans­port levy the coun­cil is im­ple­ment­ing in July.

The dis­cus­sion around the tar­geted rate led to a con­cern that peo­ple on fixed in­comes would be un­fairly im­pacted.

Peo­ple who own a house in a re­tire­ment vil­lage un­der a ‘‘li­cence to oc­cupy’’ agree- ment are usu­ally re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing the rates but are not tech­ni­cally the ratepayer.

That means they are not el­i­gi­ble for the Gov­ern­ment­funded rates re­mis­sion scheme. It will cost the coun­cil an es­ti­mated $146,000 to im­ple­ment the in­crease which will be met through the coun­cil’s ex­ist­ing bud­get for re­mis­sions.

In 2012 the coun­cil adopted a pol­icy where li­cence to oc­cupy own­ers could ap­ply for a sep­a­rate re­bate. In 2013 this was ex­panded to pa­pakainga hous­ing.

This year the amount that can be claimed back is $385. The pro­posal, which will be de­cided on in June, is to in­crease the re­bate to $500.

Across Auck­land there are 5965 dwellings owned un­der a li­cence to oc­cupy agree­ment. Last year 20 per cent ap­plied for the re­bate.

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