LGNZ welcomes the implementation of new legislation from 1 July 2018 that allows eligible retirement village residents to apply to their local council for a rates rebate.
“Retirement village residents across the country who are living on low or limited incomes will now be able to apply to their local council for a rates rebate under the Government’s rates rebate scheme for low-income ratepayers,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.
“Basing rates on the value of property means that, for some individuals with reasonably valuable property but limited income, paying rates can cause financial strain.”
The Act addresses an anomaly in the Rates Rebate Act 1973, and ensures that eligible retirement village residents are recognised as paying rates.
“LGNZ has been highlighting the need for this change for some time so it is pleasing that the Government has addressed this anomaly.”
“The changes mean that retirement village residents who do not own their unit, but pay fees to live there, are recognised as rate payers,” says Mr Cull.
LGNZ had highlighted this anomaly in its 2015 discussion paper Local Government Funding Review where it addresses the affordability for individual ratepayers facing hardship, and calls for additional funding mechanisms for councils.