Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

$3.5m in rebates ease load for low income ratepayers

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

Nearly 7000 low income ratepayers in Auckland have so far received $3.5 million of state aid to help pay their rates bills.

Auckland Council said yesterday it was processing a further 2500 applications.

The first instalment was due last Thursday on the 2012-13 rates which Auckland Council says have increased by an average of 3.6 per cent this year.

Rebates for the new rating year can be worth up to $590, depending on ability to afford the rates, and this year water and wastewater charges are included in the calculation.

Based on last year's 23,000 ratepayers who took advantage of the scheme, Grey Power Howick-Pakuranga member John Feringa said the message needed to be spread again.

"We had a stall in the main street of Howick on Friday and we had quite a few inquiries about rebates," he said.

"Even if we can get a quarter off the bill, it's something for the thousands on low incomes."

Mr Feringa suggested a stall in the local library could help people fill in the form with some privacy.

The council receives the applications and passes them on to the Department of Internal Affairs for approval.

- NZ Herald

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