Auckland Council has announced a grant for as many as 6000 ratepayers who are ineligible for rates capping or phasing.
The Strategy and Finance Committee today agreed to a grant scheme that will allow some ratepayers with so-called ‘changed properties’ to receive the same rates transition benefits as if they hadn’t altered their properties.
The rates transition policy was adopted by the council earlier this year to smooth the impact of the government requirement for the introduction of a single rating system for Auckland based on capital value. It limits rates increases for most residential ratepayers to 10 per cent and decreases to 5.6 per cent.
"Bringing together the rating systems of eight former councils has presented a number of challenges," says the Mayor.
"Legislation precludes our transition policy being applied to changed properties. This grant scheme will benefit almost 5400 homeowners and approximately 600 businesses.
"Council is focussed on implementing the government’s changes with the least possible impact on households and businesses. We have set the average rates increase at 3.6 per cent - any movement of rates above or below that mark is a direct result of the legislation," says Len Brown.
To be eligible for the grant scheme properties must meet the following criteria:
- have been renovated, or
had an additional separately used or inhabited part added,
- or another change of a similar nature, i.e. an additional room or increased floor area or a combination of the above.
The grant would not be available to changed properties that are considered:
- new builds
- new properties created as a result of a subdivision
- properties that, as a result of a change in use, fall into a different classification, e.g. a residential property that becomes a business.
The cost of the scheme is estimated at $6 million and will be met in the 2013/14 annual budget. Its administration costs will be absorbed within existing budgets.
Eligible owners of changed properties will be advised by letter within the next couple of weeks; if they have already paid their rates in full, any difference will be reimbursed by cheque. Those who have not paid will have their rates instalments adjusted accordingly.
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