Saturday, May 25, 2024

Auckland Council extends rate relief for storm-hit homes

Auckland Council’s Governing Body has approved rates relief for the 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 rating years for properties left uninhabitable after storm events and severe weather events in the first half of 2023.

The Governing Body yesterday agreed to provide a 100% rates remission for 2023/2024 for properties uninhabitable as a result of recent severe weather events with a further remission of 100% in 2024/2025 for properties that remain uninhabitable as at 30 June 2024.

Auckland Mayor, Wayne Brown says that this year’s extreme weather has led to some Aucklanders experiencing financial hardship and they have lost the use of their home.

“Until their rating value is updated to reflect the damage caused by the storms we will continue to provide them with rates relief. This rates relief aims to address this and ensure that rates are charged fairly, over the next two rating years,” the Mayor said.

“Since January this year, Tāmaki Makaurau has experienced five extreme weather events. These have caused flooding and land instability throughout the region, with a devastating and lasting impact on many communities and individuals.

“We are very aware of the financial hardship experienced by many of those impacted. By engaging with those with uninhabitable homes, this rates relief is targeted at those who need it most.”

Council estimates the cost of the rates remissions will be between $1.2 and $3.0 million in 2023/2024.

However, rating these properties based on the valuations presently in the rating database would be inequitable, said Auckland Council Group Chief Financial Officer, Peter Gudsell.

“As rates have already been set for 2023/2024 we cannot spread the foregone rates across all other properties so the relief will be debt funded this year,” said Mr Gudsell.

“However, the remission for 2024/2025 will be rates funded requiring a rates increase of up to 0.14%.”

In the last rating year, Auckland Council paid out around $1.3 million in rates relief to properties left uninhabitable as a result of the flood and cyclone events.

Meanwhile, Council says local recovery is well underway with 284 red placards closed out or downgraded, 556 yellow placards closed out or downgraded and 4,293 white placards closed out.

As of 25 July, there are 324 red placards, 1,641 yellow placards and four white placards.

“We know that for some people, rates are a considerable cost, whether affected by the severe this weather or not. If anyone is concerned about being able to pay rates, we encourage them to get in touch with our credit control team to discuss the options available, including a rates postponement scheme and flexible payment options,” Council said in a statement.

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