Whanganui District Council invites you to have your say on proposed changes to its Rates Postponement Policy and Rates Remission Policy.
The Council has reviewed these policies in light of the effects of COVID-19 which has had a significant social and economic impact on our community. The Council recognises that ratepayers severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions may need some flexibility to make payments over a longer period of time as recovery allows cash flow to improve. While reviewing the policies, the Council has also taken the opportunity to add sections to both policies to allow further flexibility in the future.
Rates Postponement Policy
- A new section allowing for rates postponement due to the impacts of COVID-19.
This section provides the ability to postpone rates to a date agreed by Council providing specific criteria are met and an agreed payment plan is in place.
- A new section allowing for rates postponement under miscellaneous circumstances.
This section provides the ability for Council to consider requests for postponement that do not meet other criteria in the policy. This will provide some additional flexibility for Council to consider postponement requests in the future.
Following adoption of the final policy, the Council will need to resolve specific dates for rates postponed under the COVID-19 section of the policy to be postponed to, and the fees to be charged for postponement.
For applicants who meet the proposed criteria the Council has indicated that it envisages:
- The 2019/20 4th quarter rates due 27 May 2020 will be able to be postponed to 25 November 2020 (i.e. postponed for up to 6 months)
- All 2020/21 rates will be able to be postponed to 30 June 2021 (i.e. allowing ratepayers the full year to pay)
- A postponement fee will apply to postponement of the 2020/21 rates. The proposed fee will be:
- $50 for postponed rates of up to $3,000
- $75 for postponed rates of $3,000 to $5,000
- $100 for postponed rates of over $5,000
Rates Remission Policy
A new section allowing for rates remission under miscellaneous circumstances:
- This section provides the ability for the Council to consider requests for remission that do not meet other criteria in the policy.
- This may be used where a ratepayer has exhausted all other means of financial assistance and is still experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. It will also provide some additional flexibility for the Council to consider remission requests into the future.
- To remit rates, the financial hardship has to be significantly more severe than that allowed under rates postponement.
The full policies showing the proposed changes are available here: