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Low-income Hamilton ratepayers save more than $1.6M

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hamilton ratepayers on low incomes saved more than $1.6M on the cost of their rates in 2018/19, thanks to Hamilton City Council’s bolstered rates rebate scheme.

The Council is proud to offer low-income ratepayers a rates discount of up to $549 - in addition to the nationwide rates rebate supported by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).

The maximum subsidy under the DIA rates rebate scheme for 2019/20 is $640. On top of this, we offer a further rates rebate of up to $549 this year for qualifying homeowners to reduce the cost of their rates.

We processed rates rebates for more than 2400 ratepayers in 2018/19, saving low-income ratepayers around $1.66M. About 500 of the 2400 qualified for both rates rebates.

Rates and Revenue Manager Matthew Bell says Hamilton’s rates rebate scheme has been in place for a number of years and increases annually in line with the city’s rates.

"The Council’s purpose is to improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians, and the rates rebate scheme gives our city’s ratepayers on low incomes additional financial support to ensure they can meet their day-to-day expenses," he says. "Last year, we visited more than 50 homes and a number of sites throughout the community to meet with ratepayers and see what assistance they’re eligible for. It’s fantastic to make a difference for more than 2400 Hamiltonians who qualify."

The DIA rates rebate takes into account the ratepayer’s income, the cost of their rates, and if they have any dependants to assess whether they qualify.

The Council’s rates rebate considers additional criteria including financial assets and the ownership structure of the property.

Applicants must apply for the rebates each rating year (July to June). This results in a high number of applications and enquiries between July and November, when our rates team visits various locations throughout the city to make the process easier for applicants, as well as taking appointments in the Council building.

With the rush period now over, potential applicants can meet with our rates team without an appointment. We can also provide a home visit for people with mobility issues or medical conditions.

To download the DIA rates rebate form, click here. https://www.govt.nz/browse/housing-and-property/getting-help-with-housing/getting-a-rates-rebate/rates-rebate-application-form/

To have a hardcopy mailed to you or to discuss the Council’s rates rebate, email rates@hcc.govt.nz or phone 07 838 6688.

To discuss either of the rates rebates in person, visit the Council’s Municipal Building in Garden Place between 7.45am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Rates rebates, unravelled:

Government rates rebate: up to $640 in 2019/20

Hamilton City Council’s rates rebate: up to $549 in 2019/20

Number of successful applications for the government rebate in Hamilton in 2018/19: more than 2400

Number of successful applications for the Hamilton City Council rebate in 2018/19: about 500

Amount both rebates saved Hamilton’s low-income ratepayers in 2018/19: $1.66M

Number of appointments with Hamilton City Council staff to discuss rebates in 2018/19: more than 500

Number of sessions out in the community to assist with rebates in 2019: 10 (July to November)

Number of retirement villages visited to assist with rebates: 11

Number of home visits to assist with rebate applications: more than 50

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