Cash-back on rates available

The Kaipara District Council is urging its ratepayers to check their eligibility for the government-funded Rates Rebate Scheme which offers assistance to low income home owners.

The initiative provides rebates of up to $590.

Eligibility is based on household income, dependants and the level of rates they pay - including water rates.

Five hundred Kaipara ratepayers have already been granted a total $280,427 in rates rebates for the 2012/2013 year and many more may qualify, but the council is concerned many who may eligible may not be aware of the scheme.

Last year, 671 Kaipara applications were processed, but, with the average rate bill rising by 19 per cent this year, senior rates officer Shirlene Powell says many more ratepayers are likely to meet the criteria.

"We want to ensure anyone who is potentially eligible is given the opportunity to seek the rebate they are entitled to receive," she says.

"Anyone who may have applied unsuccessfully in past years should definitely consider looking at it again."

Mrs Powell says a couple living on national superannuation of $30,584, who are paying $2000 in rates (including water) which is close to the Dargaville average, would be eligible for a rebate of $361.67.

The rebate is based on the rates for the current year to June 2013, with the exception of water which is metered charges from the previous 12 months. Income is based on the year which ended on March 31.

By going online- -home owners can determine whether they qualify by entering last year's income and the current year's rates into a calculator.

Alternatively, they could contact Kaipara District Council's customer service team on 0439 7059.

"We are only too happy to help. Even if you don't qualify for the full $590 any rebate is a bonus - so people should check it out", Ms Powell says.

- Northern Advocate

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