Bill for retirees' rebates

By John Maslin

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Ruth Dyson
Ruth Dyson

Whanganui retirement village residents will watch with interest a private member's bill that will go before Parliament.

Labour MP and senior citizens spokeswoman Ruth Dyson is promoting a bill that could see residents get a rates rebate.

Ms Dyson said most residents in retirement villages cannot claim a rebate because they pay rates indirectly, to the retirement village owner, and therefore do not get billed separately. The Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill seeks to fix this inequity.

"Some local authorities have recognised this problem and have changed their rating practices to bill retirement village residents directly," she said.

"My bill would ensure that regardless of the billing practice of the local authority, residents are recognised as paying rates and are therefore entitled to apply for a rebate."

Ms Dyson said she was looking forward to discussing the issue in Parliament and gaining support "for this commonsense change".

Julian Harkness, Whanganui District Council's deputy chief executive officer and group manager of corporate services, said some retirement village residents in Whanganui were rated separately.

"If their name is on the title as owner of the property then they are rated individually at the moment."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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