A farming couple in Te Hiku Ward are to be refunded overpaid rates of $5865, and are confident of receiving more.
The couple, who did not wish to be identified, said the overpayment had begun after the Far North District Council issued a new rating number for their property after part of their land was placed under a QEII covenant. It continued levying rates under the old number, so the balance of the farm was effectively being rated twice.
They doubted that their situation was unique, and suggested that other property owners with covenanted land check their records carefully.
They were also preparing to claim a sum that had not yet been calculated for rates paid on another covenanted block, dating back to 1998, and had formally requested a refund of $3790, which they claimed had been levied illegally by way of a uniform annual charge applied to an employee's cottage.
They had met with council chief executive David Edmunds, who had requested a number of letters sent to them by the council but could not be found in the council's records.