Rates cashflow improves

By Mike Barrington

More Kaipara property owners are paying their rates, although many at Mangawhai are continuing a rates strike and withholding payment in protest over district governance and debt.

Across the district, Kaipara District Council figures from the end of December show 2012/13 rates were unpaid for about 1600, or 11.5 per cent, of the district's 13,900 rateable properties - down from around 1946, or 14 per cent, unpaid in October last year.

At Mangawhai, 62.4 per cent of ratepayers had paid their rates in full and a further 16.4 per cent had made part payments.

But no 2012/13 rates had yet been paid on 821, or 21.2 per cent, of Mangawhai properties.

Of the 88 per cent of Kaipara district property owners who responded to their 2012/13 rates invoices, 74.6 per cent paid in full, up from 73 per cent in October, and 13.9 per cent made part payments.

The chairman of Kaipara commissioners, John Robertson, said some people had genuine reasons for not paying or only part paying their rates, and council staff were working alongside them to assist.

It was pleasing that a number of property owners who had previously withheld rates had now paid.

"It doesn't sit well with many people that some people are contributing to the running of the district and to essential services and that some aren't," Mr Robertson said.

It was important rates were paid on time if property owners were to avoid penalties, he said. The next rates instalment will be mailed out next month.

- Northern Advocate

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