Friday, July 19, 2024

Whanganui council offers one-off rates cut

Whanganui District Council has voted to make a one-off rates reduction available to eligible households facing a rates rise higher than $700.

Council’s chief financial officer, Mike Fermor, says this year the rates remission net has been cast wider to include households who have experienced a dramatic rise in the value of their property after the district-wide revaluation, and may struggle to pay the higher rates.

To be eligible for rates remission ratepayers need a 2023/24 rates increase over $700 and a household income from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 no more than $90,000 gross. The property needs to be residential and the ratepayer must live in the property and not own other properties. When assessing applications, the Council will also check the rates increase is predominantly due to the October 2022 district revaluation rather than building work or property improvements.

“The reason some properties are facing proportionately larger increases this year comes back to the recent district-wide revaluation, carried out by QV,” Mr Fermor says.

“The council is required by law to revalue houses in the district every three years for rating purposes, to work out the share of rates each household pays.”

The New Zealand rating system is designed so higher-valued properties pay more than lower-valued properties. In this year’s revaluation a trend has been a marked increase in the value of land in Whanganui, particular in lower-valued areas like Aramoho, Gonville and Castlecliff. This means some properties – especially those on larger sections – have increased in value and as a result will see a substantial rates rise.

“This one-year assistance gives affected households time to plan how they will fund their property’s rates from July next year,” Mr Fermor says.

Applications for rates remission open today (Monday, 7 August).

As well as rates remission, Council has a rates rebate scheme available to low income earners. Some people may also be eligible for accommodation support from Work and Income through the Work and Income website.

“Regardless of whether you’re eligible for a remission or a rebate, setting up a direct debit payment for rates can be useful as it spreads rate payments evenly over the year – the direct debit payment can be set up to best align with your income whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly,” said Mr Fermor.

Apply for rates remission by visiting www.whanganui.govt.nz/rates, phoning 06 349 0001 or emailing rates@whanganui.govt.nz.

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