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Whanganui Council gets to work on rates relief

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Whanganui District Council has held a special workshop to consider rates relief for people and businesses experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Mayor Hamish McDouall says the Council is looking at a potential package which could include options for ratepayers to defer rate payments without incurring late payment penalties.

He says, "The Council has an obligation to collect rates, but we do have existing policies which allow for rates postponement or remission under certain criteria.

"We’re looking at making changes to those policies which would allow us to consider cases of hardship related to the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in this year."

"While some detail still needs to be worked through, such as defining the eligibility criteria," says Mayor McDouall, "this will be finalised in time for the next council meeting on 26 May, 2020 and from there the Council will consult with the community."

Council Chief Executive, Kym Fell says, "While the Council is working through the necessary steps to approve a rates relief package, we are still required to send out rates invoices for the fourth quarter and ratepayers will receive these over the next few days. We do encourage people to continue to pay their rates to enable the Council to deliver essential services to the community.

"We appreciate however, that many in our community are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 emergency."

Mr Fell says, "If this is an issue for you, please contact our rates department to discuss payment options. Phone 06 349 0001 or e-mail rates@whanganui.govt.nz"

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