HELPING HAND FOR RATEPAYERS
Released: Monday 31 July 2023
The South Waikato District Council (Council) would like to remind homeowners about the Government’s Rates Rebate Scheme. Paying rates is a necessary reality for homeowners. However, the cost-of-living crisis is making it difficult for many homeowners to make ends meet. While some people in the district are already taking advantage of the Rates Rebate Scheme, it is suspected that more people may be eligible.
With the maximum rebate amount having increased to $750 it makes financial sense for ratepayers to check their eligibility. A rates rebate is really a great way for homeowners to reduce their rates bill and keep more money in their pockets for other essentials.
To be eligible for a rates rebate, ratepayers must meet certain criteria. Ratepayers can check their eligibility for a rebate by using the rates rebate calculator available at www.ratesrebates.govt.nz. All they need is their income information (and that of any spouse/partner or joint homeowner who lives with them) for the tax year ended 31 March and their SWDC annual rates amount. This can be obtained from the Council’s website (www.southwaikato.govt.nz/our-services/rates) or by enquiry to Council. Waikato Regional Council’s annual rates can be obtained from www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/council/rates/find-out-y... or by calling 0800 800 401.
If a ratepayer is eligible, they will need to complete an application form and return it to Council by 30 June 2024. Martin Warren, Revenue Manager at the Council, would like to encourage homeowners, especially retirees and low-income households, to check their eligibility sooner rather than later. “The sooner people apply for a rebate, the sooner they can take advantage of reduced rates payments. Application forms are available from all Council offices or can be downloaded from the rates rebate website [www.ratesrebates.govt.nz],” he said.
Mr Warren also recommends that ratepayers move from automatic payment to direct debit to avoid the chance of a shortfall and a possible rates penalty. “With direct debits Council deducts what is needed so that your rates are always covered,” he said.
Rates are invoiced quarterly with the first installment due on 7 September, thereafter 7 December (second instalment), 7 March (third instalment), and 7 June (fourth instalment). Council would like to remind ratepayers that payments can also be made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. This may make paying rates more manageable.
For more information, ratepayers can contact Council on 07 885 0340.
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