DO you Need help with your rates?
We recognise some
people face difficulties paying their rates bill. We do our best to help you
with your payments. If you are struggling, please read on - you may be eligible
for one of our rates schemes or rates remission and postponement policies.
Help through Rates Remission and Postponement Policies
We have 10 Rates Remission and Postponement
policies that may be able to help you pay your rates. We’ve summarised these
for you below. Please contact our rates staff with any queries about
eligibility or making an application
for early payment of rates in current financial year
prior year rates and current year rates are paid on, or before, the discount
date shown on Council’s rate invoice you are entitled to a discount.
of rates penalties
You may not
have to pay penalties on overdue rates if you have an excellent payment history
and there are circumstances beyond your control affecting your payment of
rates. We may also waive penalties if you have a payment plan agreed with
Council to pay your rate arrears.
postponement for financial hardship
If you are
experiencing hardship from extreme financial circumstances that affect your
ability to pay rates, you may be eligible to postpone your rates payment.
postponement for homeowners aged over 65 years
If you are
aged over 65 years and own your home, you may be able to postpone paying your
rates until an agreed future date, using your home as security. Council
recovers the rates if you sell your home or from your estate.
remission for Maori freehold land
You may be
eligible for remission for limited productive use. We may be able to provide
some support through rates remission for a new economic development proposal on
the land. We could also assist where there are multiple dwellings, or if you
have outstanding rate arrears.
remission for contiguous land
You may be
eligible for a remission if you own adjoining properties and jointly use them
as a single unit.
remission for covenanted land
If your land
is covenanted for environmental protection, then you may be eligible for a
rates remission for the part of your property that is covenanted.
remission for land used for sport and games
If your club
owns the land its facilities are located on, it may be eligible for a 50
percent discount on its rates.
remission for re-zoned land
You may be
eligible for a remission if your land has been re-zoned and consequently is
subject to higher rates, despite your use of the land being the same.
remission for natural disasters and emergencies
You may be
eligible for a remission if a natural disaster or emergency has made your
dwelling uninhabitable, or has had significant long term effect on the
productive use of your rural, commercial or industrial zoned land.
Help through Rates Schemes
We recognise some people face difficulties paying their rates bill. We do our best to help you with your payments. If you are struggling, please read on - you may be eligible for one of our rates schemes.
There are three options available:
- Spreading the cost using automatic payments
- Postponing your rates
- Apply for a reduction in your rates
1. Automatic payment
You can spread your rates payments over the rating year, making regular payments by automatic payment. The automatic payment must be set up to clear the instalment balance by the due date to avoid a late payment penalty. More information about automatic payments. (PDF, 36KB)
2. Postponing your rates
Are you over 65 years old? You can put your annual rates bill on hold for as long as you choose, by joining Council's 'Rates postponement scheme'.
Under this option, over-65s have the option to postpone the payment of all, or a portion of their rates, for a fixed or indefinite period. This is subject to the full cost of postponement being met by the ratepayer (i.e. interest charges and administrative costs) and Council being satisfied the risk of loss in any case is minimal.
Councils in New Zealand can choose how flexible they are in setting a rates postponement policy. The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and the Local Government Act 2002 changed the law to allow councils to postpone payments of rates for residential ratepayers.
Before these laws were in place rates could only be postponed if the ratepayer proved they were suffering hardship.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council offers a scheme available to residential ratepayers aged 65 and over. The aim is to give these ratepayers a choice of paying their rates now or later.
To be eligible to apply you or your partner must be at least 65 years old. Full information is available in the rates postponement detailed booklet
(PDF 95.6KB), which explains the ‘ins and outs’ of the scheme and how to apply. Alternatively, contact us on 07 571 8008 or by email email@example.com
3. Applying for a reduction
Some low income ratepayers are eligible for a reduction in their rates, using our Rates Rebate Scheme. This is an option administered by the Department of Internal Affairs and local councils. A predetermined limit to the amount of rates that can be refunded is set each year by the Department of Internal Affairs.
The Rates Rebate Scheme was established in 1973 to provide a subsidy to low income homeowners on the cost of their rates. The Government has reviewed the Scheme and further increased the rates rebate thresholds for the 2018/2019 rating year, so more people than ever before will be eligible for the rebate.
The following amounts came into effect from 1 July 2018:
The maximum reduction you can get is $630.
The qualifying income threshold is $25,180 (extended from $24,790).
The additional income
allowance for dependants will remain at $500 per dependant. This means the
income threshold for a full rates reduction for the 2018/2019 year is $25,180
and is increased by $500 for each dependant in the household. For example, if you have 2 children, then you would still
be able to get the full rebate of $630 if your income is less than or equal to
A reduction might still be available to you even though your income threshold exceeds the qualifying amount. This depends on your rates total and the number of dependants. Example tables and electronic calculator are available on the Department of Internal Affairs website
You can apply for a reduction from 1 September 2018, when the rates invoices for the 2018/2019 rating year are issued. Applications close on 30 June 2019.
You will need to complete an application form and send it to our Rates Team, Private Bag 12803, Tauranga Mail Centre, Tauranga, 3143.
Rates rebate application form 2018/19 (printer friendly version) (PDF, 811KB)
*This document is in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and you will need Adobe PDF Reader to view it. If you don't have this you can download Adobe PDF Reader for free.
You application will include:
Your rates assessment invoice (including your regional rates notice if billed separately) for the current rating year.
Information about what your income (before tax) was for the tax year ended 31 March 2018.
Information about what your partner/joint homeowner's income was if he/she was normally living with you on 1 July 2018.
Schedule of Work and Income benefits for the 2018/19 tax year
Further information about Work and Income benefits and allowances may be found at http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits.
Please note: If you are the owner of an owner-occupier flat and your name is not on the rates bill, you must have a letter from the person whose name is on the rates bill stating what the total rates bill is and how much you pay towards it.
If you are granted a rates rebate Council will reduce your rates by the amount of the rebate.
For more information visit the Department of Internal Affairs website.
Objecting or disputing your rates valuation
You can object to your rating by filling out an Objection to Valuation form
(PDF, 56KB) or contact the Customer Services Team on 07 571 8008.
For more information on any of these options please contact our Rates Team on 07 571 8008 (8am-5pm, Monday - Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org