Draft Rates Postponement Policy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Issued 28 April 2020
Submissions have now closed on Wednesday 13 May 2020

​What is being propose​​d? 

The Council does not currently have a Rates Postponement Policy.  Given the current COVID 19 Pandemic and the potential for long- term ramifications on the economy, Council considers it would be prudent to adopt this policy as soon as possible. 

Council seeks input from the community on the adoption of this policy. The policy can be downloaded below.

Why is this being proposed? 

A postponement policy gives Council the ability to provide assistance in the longer term to those ratepayers who are struggling financially while still ensuring that rates on the property will be paid at a given point in time.  Applications under the policy must be made in writing and some certainty is given regarding the recovery of rates via the registering of a statutory land charge on the rating unit title. 

The policy also provides for a $1,000 contribution per year towards rates on the property.  This payment can be supplemented by a rates rebate application, should the ratepayer be eligible, and ensures that the ratepayer does not forget their obligation to pay rates on the property. 

What are the options?​ 

 There are two options: 

OPTION ONE: Council adopts the proposed policy. 

This is Council's preferred option. Benefits and negatives are as follows: 

  • ​​The policy focuses on providing a practical long-term policy that council can use as a tool to assist ratepayers in times of financial hardship.

  • Council will be able to provide immediate support to its ratepayers in financial hardship resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as providing for another situation should one arise that puts financial stress on the ratepayers of the Grey District.​

  • ​There are additional costs associated with the registering of statutory land charges that result in increasing the ratepayers level of debt to council. These are currently not present in the current tools available to staff to deal with rate arrears.

  • There will be an increase in the level of rates debt carried by council as debt that may have previously been collected from the mortgagor or recovered via debt collection maybe postponed.​

​OPTION TWO: Status quo – Council does not adopt the proposed policy. 

Benefits and negatives of not implementing the proposed changes include: 

  • ​​There will be no increase in rates debt due to rates postponement.

  • ​​Does not allow for ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship form the current  Covid-19 pandemic or other financial hardship events to have consideration of rates postponement. 

  • Should we have another event with a large economic impact on ratepayers we will continue to have no long-term rate relief tool available for immediate use.

Residents are strongly encouraged to have a say. We want to hear from as many people as possible before the final policy is adopted, so please have your say today. 

​How to have your say ​ 

All submissions must be in writing. We will accept submissions in the following format: 

  • Council submission form – online or paper 
  • Email to submissions@greydc.govt.nz 
  • Written submissions posted to Grey District Council, PO Box 382, Greymouth or hand-delivered to the dropbox outside Council's main door at 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth.

You are welcome to address Council in person on your submission – if you wish to do this, please clearly indicate this in your submission. Council will hear and consider submissions at a meeting after the close-off date. 

Every submission made to the Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, copied and made available to the public. 

Submissions closed at 5pm on Wednesday 13 May 2020.​ 

Draft Rates Postponement Policy​ (PDF, 272KB)

Submission Form​ (PDF, 192KB)​​

Page reviewed: 28 May 2020 3:54pm