Rates Remission Policy

1.0 Purpose

The Rates Remission and Postponement Policy is to allow for rate remissions and postponements, including on Maori Freehold Land in terms of sections 108 and 109 of the Local Government Act 2002.

2.0 Statutory Requirements

  • Section 102(3)(a) of the Local Government Act 2002 states that Council may adopt a rates remission policy.
  • Section 109 of the Local Government Act 2002 states what the policy must contain.
  • Section 85 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 allows Council to remit all or part of the rates on a rating unit if it has adopted a remission policy and is satisfied that the conditions and criteria in the policy are met.
  • Section 109(2A) of the Local Government Act 2002 states that any rates remission policy must be reviewed at least once every 6 years using a consultation process that gives effect to the requirements of section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

3.0 Key Definitions

  • Remitted rates – rates for which the requirement to pay is remitted.
  • Rates Postponement – rates for which the requirement to pay is postponed.
  • Maori Freehold Land – land whose beneficial ownership has been determined by the Maori Land Court by freehold order.

4.0 Policy

The Timaru District Council has decided to remit all or part of the rates of rating units covered by the Rates Remission Policy provided that the conditions with this policy have been met. Rates remissions will be provided for the following categories of rating units or under the following circumstances:
i     Remission of rates for community halls.
ii    Remission of rates for sporting, games, branches of the arts, community care and volunteer organisations.
iii   Remission of rates on land protected for natural, historical or cultural conservation purposes.
iv   Remission of penalties.
v    Partial Remission of Rates on Dwellings that were subject to a special rateable value for the purpose of Timaru District Council Rating as at 30 June 2003.
vi   Remission of School Sewerage Charges.
vii  Remission of Excess Water Charges.
viii Remission of UAGC’s and aquatic centre rates for low value properties.
ix   Remission of rates and charges on land affected by natural calamity.
x    Remission of rates and charges on separate self contained flats.
xi   Remission of rates and charges on residential development land.

The following percentages/procedures will apply:
I.   All rating units which fall within i-iii above receive: -
    (i)   100% remission of non services rates;
    (ii)  50% remission on water charges, except water charged by the meter;
    (iii) 0% remission on sewer charges;
    (iv)  0% remission on refuse charges.
II. That recreational organisations, except chartered clubs, receive:
    (i) 50% remission on sewer charges.
III. Where an application for partial remission of Rates on Dwellings that was subject to special rateable value for the purpose of Timaru District Council Rating as at 30 June 2003 is approved, the Council will direct its valuation service provider to inspect the rating unit and prepare a valuation that will treat the rating unit as if it were a comparable unit elsewhere in the district.
IV. That educational institutions be levied for sewerage disposal and collection on the basis of:-
V. 1 charge per 20 pupils and staff or part thereof.
VI. That the ratepayer be charged the full amount for normal consumption of water, that the excess amount be remitted.
VII. The Council may partially remit the UAGC for ratepayers who own more than one property in the district.
VIII. The remission will be based on:

Capital Value ($)UAGC
0-20,000Minimum ($30)
20,001 – 26,00070% remission
26,001 – 30,00050% remission
30,001 – 55,00030% remission
Over 55,001Full UAGC

IX.  The Council may remit wholly or in part any rates and charges on land affected by natural calamity.
X.   The Council may partially remit general rates, district works and services rates, water, sewer and refuse charges where separate self contained flats are used for private purpose and not for profit.
XI. The Council may remit the UAGC and Aquatic centre rate for unsold development land which is in more than one parcel, but has separate valuation numbers. A minimum of 1 charge is required for the land.

Remissions for Community Halls, Community Care Organisations, Sporting, Branches of the Arts or Volunteer Organisations

Objective

The remission of rates for community, sporting and other organisations is to facilitate the ongoing provision of non-commercial community services and non-commercial recreational opportunities for the residents of Timaru District.

The purpose of granting rates remission to an organisation is to:

i)   Recognise the public good contribution made by such organisations.
ii)  Assist the organisations survival.
iii) 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.

Conditions and Criteria

The remission of rates will apply to land which is used exclusively or principally for sporting, recreation, or community purposes. The policy does not apply to organisations operated for pecuniary profit.

The policy does 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.

Organisations making application should include the following documents in support of their application:

i)   Statement of objectives.
iii) Financial assets.
iii) Information on activities and programmes.
iii) Details of membership or clients.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Rates on Land Protected for Natural, Historical or Cultural Conservation Purposes

Objective

Rates remission is provided to preserve and promote natural resources and heritage by encouraging the protection of land for natural, historic or cultural purposes.

Conditions and Criteria

Ratepayers who own rating units which have some feature of cultural, natural or historic heritage which is voluntarily protected may qualify for remission of rates under this policy.

Land that is non-rateable under section 8 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and is liable only for rates for water supply, sewerage disposal and waste collection will not qualify for remission under this part of the policy.

Applications should be supported by documented evidence of the protected status of the rating unit, for example, a copy of the covenant or other legal mechanism.

In considering any application for remission of rates under this part of the policy, the Council will consider the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the preservation of natural, cultural or historic heritage will be promoted by granting remission of rates on the rating unit.
  • The degree to which feature of natural, cultural and historic heritage are present on the land.
  • The degree to which features of natural, cultural and historic heritage inhibit the economic utilisation of the land.
  • The extent to which the preservation of natural, cultural and historic heritage will be promoted by granting remission of rates on the rating unit.
  • The degree to which features of natural, cultural and historic heritage will be promoted by granting remission of rates on the rating unit.
  • The degree to which feature of natural, cultural and historic heritage are present on the land.
  • The degree to which features of natural, cultural and historic heritage inhibits the economic utilisation of the land.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Penalties

The Timaru District Council will provide rate remissions of penalties to all ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

The remission of penalties is to allow 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.

Conditions and Criteria

Remission of the penalty will be granted if the ratepayer by written explanation satisfies the Council that the late payment was due to circumstances outside the ratepayer’s control.

Each application will be considered on its merit and will be granted where it is considered fair and equitable to do so.

In cases where ratepayers are in arrears with their rates, but have made acceptable arrangements for the payment of the current year’s rates together with reduction in the level of arrears, further penalties being incurred will be remitted under this policy.

Where the Council has accepted an application for payment by direct debit that will clear the rates by 30 June in the current rating year, the property will not be charged penalties. The Council accepts responsibility for the amount of the debit being set at the correct level to clear the rates and any arrears. It is the ratepayers’ responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient funds available in the specified account to enable the debit to be processed. The Council may, at its discretion, cancel a direct debit arrangement, with advice to the ratepayer.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Partial Remission On Dwellings that were subject to a Special Rateable Value for the Purpose of Timaru District Council Rating as at 30 June 2003

The Council will provide partial rates remissions to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

The remission of general rates is to provide relief for rating units in commercial, residential or industrial zones and must be used as the private residential dwelling of the ratepayer or the private dwelling of a tenant of the ratepayer and in the opinion of the Council’s valuation service provider the rateable land value of the rating unit has been inflated due to the location of the property in relation to surrounding properties zoning and land uses.

Conditions and Criteria

Rating units must be situated in commercial, residential or industrial zones and must be used as the private residential dwelling of the ratepayer or the private dwelling of a tenant of the ratepayer and in the opinion of the Council’s valuation service provider the rateable land value of the rating unit has been inflated due to the zoning of the property.

Applications for remission must be made to the Council prior to the commencement of a rating year. Applications received during a rating year will apply from the commencement of the following rating year.

Where an application is approved, the Council will direct its valuation service provider to inspect the rating unit and prepare a valuation that will treat the rating unit as if it were a comparable rating unit elsewhere in the district.

Values allocated under this policy are final and there is no right of objection or appeal against the level of valuation.

Remissions will be granted on all rates that are levied on the rateable land value of the rating unit, and the remission will be the difference between the rates that would have been struck on the rateable land value and the rates struck under the special land value allocated under this policy.

This policy will apply to all properties to which special rateable values applied at 30 June 2003 provided the use of the property has not changed.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of School Sewerage Charges

The Council will provide rates remissions to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

To provide relief and assistance to education establishments as defined in the Rating Powers (Special Provision for Certain Rates for Educational Establishments) Amendments Act 2001 in paying Sewerage charges.

Conditions and Criteria

The remission will apply to the following educational establishments:

  • Established as a special school under section 98(1) of the Education Act 1964: or defined as-
  • A state school under section 2 (1) of the Education Act 1989; or
  • An integrated school under section 2 (1) of the Private Schools Conditional Integrated Act 1975; or
  • A special institution under section 92 (1) of the Education Act 1989; or
  • An early childhood centre under section 308 (1) of the Education Act 1989, but excluding any early childhood centre operated for a profit.

The policy does not apply to school houses occupied by a caretaker, principal or staff. The sewage disposal rate in any one year may not exceed the amount calculated in the clause immediately below.

The sewage disposal rate is the rate that will be levied using the same mechanism as is applied to other separately rateable rating units within the District, the number of toilets determined will be charged with the full charge.

For the purpose of the clause immediately above, the number of toilets for separately rateable units occupied for the purposes of an educational establishment is 1 toilet for every 20 students or staff or part thereof.

The number of students in an educational establishment is the number of students on its roll on 1 March immediately before the year to which the charge relates.

The number of staff in an educational establishment is the number of administration and teaching staff employed by the educational establishment on 1 March immediately before the year to which the charge relates.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Rates and Charges on Land and or Improvements Affected by Natural Calamity

Objective

The objective of this part of the policy is to assist ratepayers experiencing extreme financial circumstances which affect their ability to pay rates.

Conditions and Criteria

  1. Only rating units, where the use that may be made of the land or improvements has been detrimentally affected by erosion, subsidence, submersion or other natural calamity will be eligible for consideration for rates remission.
  2. Only the person entered as the ratepayer or their authorised agent may make an application for remission of rates and charges on land or improvements affected by natural calamity.
  3. The ratepayer must be the current owner of the rating unit which is subject to the application. The application should be supported by documented evidence that the rating unit has been detrimentally affected by natural calamity.
  4. The Council will consider, on a case by case basis, all applications received that meet the criteria described in the first two paragraphs under this section.
  5. When considering whether extreme financial circumstances exist, all of the ratepayer’s personal and business circumstances will be relevant including the following factors: age, physical or mental disability, injury, illness and family circumstances.
  6. Before approving an application the Council must be satisfied that the ratepayer is unlikely to have sufficient funds left over, after the payment of rates, for normal health care, proper provision for maintenance of his/her home and chattels at an adequate standard as well as making provision for normal day to day living expenses.
  7. The Council’s may, where it considers it to be fair and reasonable to do so, remit wholly or in part, any rate or charge or targeted rate made and set in respect of the land or improvements.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Excess Water Charges

The Council will provide rates remissions to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

To standardise procedures to assist ratepayers who have excessive water rates due to a fault (leak) in the internal reticulation serving their rating unit, having acted promptly in remedying the fault.

Conditions and Criteria

The Council may remit all or part of the excess water rates where the application meets the following criteria:

  • The policy will apply to applications from ratepayers who have excess 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. plumbers repair account);
  • That proof be submitted for verification of the repairs being carried out promptly once the existence of a fault has been identified;
  • That the ratepayer be charged the full amount for normal consumption;
  • That part or all of the excess amount be remitted.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined or only partly remitted.

Remission of Rates on UAGC’s for Low Value Properties

The Council will provide partial rates remissions of the UAGC to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

To assist ratepayers who own more than one property in the district or who have very low value properties.

Conditions and Criteria

The Council may partially remit the UAGC for ratepayers who own more than one property in the district. The remission will be based on:

Capital Value ($)UAGC
0-20,000Minimum ($30)
20,001 – 26,00070% remission
26,001 – 30,00050% remission
30,001 – 55,00030% remission
Over 55,001Full UAGC

The Council may remit the UAGC and Aquatic centre rates to ratepayers where the Capital Value of a property is $5,000 or less.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Multiple Use differentials and service charges when separate self contained flat is used for private purpose and not for profit

The Council will provide partial rates remissions to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

To assist ratepayers who own properties with separate inhabitable unit/self contained flat used only for private, non-profit purposes.

To remit multiple use differential on value based rates and additional service charges for separately used or inhabitable part of rating unit.

Conditions and Criteria

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

  • The policy will apply to ratepayers who submit a statutory declaration stating that the separate inhabitable unit/self contained flat is used for extended family members or private use only and is not leased, or rented for any period of the previous year and not intended so for the next rating year.
  • Applications for remissions must be made each year prior to the commencement of the rating year. Applications received during a rating year will apply from the commencement of the following rating year. An application needs to be submitted on or before 31 May of each year to apply for following rating year.
  • Where an application is approved, the Council could direct its valuation service provider to inspect the rating unit to confirm the status of the property.
  • Where an application is approved the property will be rated as a single residential unit.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

Remission of Rates for Development Land

The Council will provide partial rates remissions to ratepayers who meet the objectives, conditions and criteria of this policy.

Objective

To assist ratepayers who undertake significant development of land. The objective is to ensure that unsold development land which is in more than one parcel, but has separate valuation assessment numbers, does not pay more than one uniform annual general charge and one Aquatic Centre Charge.

Conditions and Criteria

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

  • The policy will apply to ratepayers who apply in writing providing details of the multiple lot subdivision.
  • Applications for remissions must be made each year prior to the commencement of the rating year. Applications received during a rating year will apply from the commencement of the following rating year. An application needs to be submitted on or before 31 May of each year to apply for following rating year.
  • The remission will only apply to development (defined as one deposited plan) where there are more than 2 allotments.
  • The ratepayer will receive a 100% remission on the Uniform Annual General Charge and Aquatic Centre rate on the second and subsequent allotments.
  • The remission will be for a maximum period of three rating years.
  • The remission shall cease for any allotment if:
    • Any interest in the land is passed by the developer to another party, or
    • An application for a building consent is granted, or
    • The land is developed in some other way.

Delegations

The following delegations apply:

  • Group Manager Corporate Services – to approve remissions which meet the requirements of this policy.
  • Rates Remission Subcommittee – to hear and make a final decision on any appeal on an application for remission that has been declined.

 Adopted by Council 23 June 2015