Grey District Rating Policies

Contents

Rate Remission Policy 1 - Rating of community, sporting and other organisations

[a] Objectives of the policy

  • To facilitate the ongoing provision of non-commercial (non-business) community services that meet the needs of Grey District residents.
  • To facilitate the ongoing provision of non-commercial (non-business) recreational opportunities for Grey District residents.
  • To assist the organisation's survival; and
  • To make membership of the organisation more accessible to the general public, particularly disadvantaged groups.  These include children, youth, young families, aged people and economically disadvantaged people.

[b] Conditions and criteria

The Council shall remit rates where the application meets the following criteria:

  • The policy will apply to land owned by the Council or owned and occupied by a charitable organisation, which is used exclusively or principally for sporting, recreation or community purposes.
  • The policy will not apply to organisations operated for private pecuniary profit, or which charge commercial tuition fees.
  • The policy will not apply to groups or organisations whose primary purpose is to address the needs of adult members (over 18 years) for entertainment or social interaction, or who engage in recreational, sporting or community services as a secondary purpose only.  
  • An application for a new rate remission must be made to the Council prior to 1 June for the following rating year.  Organisations with an existing remission will have the remission carried forward unless Council advises the organisation before 31 May that they need to re-apply.  Council can request documents as outlined under the under mentioned conditions from organisations receiving a remission in subsequent years.
  • Organisations making an application should include the following documents in support of their application:
    - statement of objectives;
    - full financial accounts;
    - information on activities and programmes;
    - details of membership or clients.

A 50% or 100% remission is available on General Rates, determined on eligibility under above criteria.

The policy shall apply to such organisations as approved by the Council as meeting the relevant criteria.  The Council may delegate the authority to make such approvals to the Corporate Services Manager.

Remissions granted will apply to general rates and the uniform annual general charge. No remission will be granted on targeted rates for water supply, sewage disposal or refuse collection.

Rate Remission Policy 2 - Remission of penalties and small balances

[a] Objective of the policy

The objective of the remission policy is to enable the Council to act fairly and reasonably in its consideration of rates which have not been received by the Council by the penalty date due to circumstances outside the ratepayers' control.

[b] Conditions and criteria

The Council shall remit the penalty rates where the application meets the following criteria:-

  • Automatic remission of the penalties incurred on instalment one will be made where the ratepayer pays the total amount due for the year on or before the penalty date of the second instalment.  
  • Remission of one penalty will be considered in any one rating year where payment has been late due to significant family disruption.  Remission will be considered in the case of death, illness, or accident of a family member as at the due date.
  • The ratepayer is a beneficiary, earns a low income, or has recently been made redundant or unemployed, is without substantial other income and has exhausted other avenues of relief, and where the ratepayer makes acceptable arrangements for the payment of future rates.
  • There are extenuating circumstances, e.g. loss of records by fire or theft. 
  • The ratepayer had paid after the penalty date but has not previously incurred a penalty for late payment for their property within the last three years.
  • The ratepayer has completed purchase of the property concerned but has not received notice of instalment of rates, e.g. in the case of a cross lease or subdivision in progress where the rates notices continue to be sent to the previous owner until the end of the financial year, resulting in the new owner(s) incurring penalties.
  • The ratepayer is no longer able to manage his/her own affairs because of age and/or health issues and another person has assumed responsibility for the payment of accounts (limited to one application per ratepayer).
  • The ratepayer has contacted Council prior to a penalty date to advise that he/she would not have funds available to pay the instalment charge until after the penalty date, as long as payment is then completed within fourteen (14) days of the penalty date.  (Limited to one penalty only).
  • Where there is a small balance overdue, which is uneconomically small to collect.  This may be written off in line with other Council procedures and accordingly penalties will not be applied. (less than $10)
  • Where the circumstances are such that to not remit some or all of the penalties would be unfair or unreasonable and inconsistent when compared to the criteria above.

[c] Delegation of decision making

Decisions on remission of penalties will be delegated to the Corporate Services Manager.

Rate Remission Policy 3 - Remission of some Uniform Annual General Charges on rating units

[a] Objective of the policy

This policy will apply to rating units which are used for residential purposes and which include a separately inhabited part occupied by a dependent member of the family of the owner of the rating unit.

The policy is to provide for the possibility of rates remission where more than one uniform annual general charge is assessed on a rating unit because that rating unit comprises more than one separately used or inhabited part and where the rating unit is used for residential purposes and includes a separately inhabited part occupied by a dependant member of the family of the owner of the rating unit.

[b] Conditions and criteria

The Council may remit the specified rates where the application meets the following criteria:

  • The rating units must be used as the owner's residence but also contain a minor flat or other residential accommodation unit which is inhabited by a member of the owner's family who is dependent on the owner for financial support (e.g. a granny flat).
  • The owner(s) of the rating unit must complete and provide to the Council a statutory declaration stating that these conditions above apply.  Such a declaration will be effective for three years or until the conditions cease to be met, whichever is earlier.  A fresh declaration must be completed and provided in order to qualify for consideration for remission beyond the first three year period.

The rates which may be remitted are as follows:

  • Any uniform annual general charge assessment in respect of the rating unit, apart from the first of each.

[c] Delegation of decision making

The Corporate Services Manager will be delegated authority to consider applications for the remission of any rates in terms of this policy and, if appropriate, to approve or decline them.

Rate Remission Policy 4 - Remission of excess water rates

[a] Objective of policy

To standardise procedures to assist ratepayers who have excess metered water rates due to a fault (leak) in the internal reticulation serving their rating unit.

[b] Conditions and criteria

The Council shall remit the excess water rates where the application meets the following criteria:

  • The policy will apply to applications from ratepayers who have excess metered water rates due to a fault(s) in the internal reticulation.
  • That all applicants are requested to submit their application in writing.
  • That proof of the repairs to the internal reticulation be submitted for verification (i.e. plumber's repair account).
  • That the ratepayer be charged the full charge for normal consumption.
  • That the balance of the account being the difference to be remitted.
  • The remission will not apply for more than one water billing period per financial year.

NOTE: If Council are the ones to notify the ratepayer of a suspected leak and it is not fixed within two weeks there will be no remission for the ratepayer.

[c] Delegation of decision making

The Corporate Services Manager will be delegated authority to consider applications for remission of excess water rates and, if appropriate, approve or decline them. This policy must be consistent with Council's water supply bylaw.

Rate Remission Policy 5 - Rates on GDC owned and/or occupied land

[a] Objective of policy

To account for the rates that are liable for payment by the Grey District Council.

[b] Conditions and criteria

This policy applies only to rating units for which the Grey District Council is liable for the payment of rates under the Local Government (Rating) Act, 2002.

Amount remitted - Council can decide to remit all or part of the annual levy struck for all or some of such rating units.

[c] Delegation of decision making

N/A

[d] Review process

The policy will be reviewed annually as part of the Annual Plan process.

Rate Remission Policy 6 - Land affected by natural calamity

This remission applies to owners where they meet the following objectives and criteria.

[a] Objectives of the policy

To assist ratepayers experiencing extreme financial hardship due to a natural calamity that affects their ability to pay rates.

[b] Conditions and criteria

Remissions approved under this policy do not set a precedent and will be applied only for each specific event and only to properties affected by the event.

The Council may remit all or part or any rate on any rating unit where the application meets the following criteria:

  • Where erosion, subsidence, submersion or other natural calamity has affected the use or occupation of a rating unit, and
  • It is applicable for each single event and does not apply to erosion, subsidence etc… that may have occurred without a recognised major event, and
  • Where the Government has established a reimbursement scheme for rates remitted in respect of such properties, and
  • The Council can set additional criteria for each event.  This is because the criteria may change depending on the nature and severity of the event and available funding at the time. The Council may require financial or other records to be provided as part of the remission approval process.

[c] Delegation of decision making

In the event of a natural calamity meeting these criteria, Council will delegate authority to a sub-committee made up of at least one elected representative and one staff member.

2014_Storm_Damage_Remission.pdf

Policy for early payment of rates in the current financial year (discount policy)

[a] Objective of policy

To provide a consistent and fair basis for the application of discount for the early payment of rates in the current financial year.

[b] Conditions and criteria

Ratepayers receive a discount if all due rates are paid in full, together with any outstanding prior years' rates and penalties by the end of business on the due date for payment of the first instalment in the current year (in accordance with s55 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002).

The amount of the discount will be advised in the Annual Plan each year.

[c] Delegation of decision making

Decisions relating to whether a ratepayer qualified for a discount for early payment of rates will be delegated to the Corporate Services Manager, who will act in accordance with the relevant Council resolution.

[d] Review process

  • The discount rate will be reviewed annually taking into consideration current borrowing interest rates and will be calculated to be fiscally neutral.
  • The overall discount policy will be reviewed as required, but not more often than annually.

Collection of unpaid rates

[a] Objective of this policy

Council will endeavour to recover any unpaid rates and penalties and subsequent collection costs through the provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.

[b] Conditions and criteria

Where it is deemed uneconomic to continue with recovery, an alternative outcome will be decided by Council.

[c] Delegation of decision making

The Corporate Services Manager will seek alternative outcomes on small balances (less than $1,000.00 total outstanding rates and penalties).

Policy on remission/postponement of rates on Maori Freehold Land

[a] Outcome

This policy is prepared under Section 102(4) (f) of the Local Government Act 2002.

"Maori Freehold Land" is defined in section 5 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 as "land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by the Maori Land Court by Freehold Order". Only land that is the subject of such an order may qualify for remission under this policy.

This policy aims to:

  • Ensure the fair and equitable collection of rates from all sectors of the community recognising that certain Maori owned lands have particular conditions, features, ownership structures, or other circumstances that make it appropriate to provide relief from rates.
  • Implement a policy for providing rate relief on Maori land pursuant to Section 108 of the Local Government Act.

The objectives of this policy are set out in Schedule 11 of the Local Government Act 2002:

  • Supporting the use of the land by the owners for traditional purposes;
  • Recognising and supporting the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands;
  • Avoiding further alienation of Maori Freehold Land;
  • Facilitating any wish of the owners to develop the land for economic use;
  • Recognising and taking account of the presence of waahi tapu that may affect the use of the land for other purposes;
  • Recognising and taking account of the importance of the land in providing economic and infrastructure support for marae and associated papakainga housing (whether on the land or elsewhere);
  • Recognising and taking account of the importance of the land for community goals relating to: the preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, the protection of outstanding natural features, and the protection of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna;
  • Recognising the level of community services provided to the land and its occupiers;
  • Recognising matters relating to the physical accessibility of the land.

[b] Policy

Given the fact that there is no land in the Grey District that meets the description Maori freehold land as described above, Council will not develop any formal policies in this regard and will do so only if this situation changes.

[c] Policy review

This policy will be reviewed annually.  Should the need for a formal set of policies per Section 102 (4)(f) of the Local Government Act 2002 arise, the focus of Council will be to what extent the remission and postponement policies developed under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 can be applied.

Page reviewed: 24 Mar 2016 3:03pm