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Rates postponement and remissions

Rates Postponement

A Rates Postponement means that the requirement to pay rates have been delayed for a set timeframe. A postponement can apply to a particular instalment, or until certain conditions are met.

The aim with this part of the policy is to assist ratepayers who are older persons on fixed incomes with meeting their rates obligations. 

Any deferred rates are postponed until on of the following occurs: 

  • the death of the ratepayer(s)
  • the ratepayer(s) is no longer the owner or occupier of the property
  • the ratepayer(s) no longer use the property as his or her residence
  • a date specified by the Council 

The ratepayer must not own other rating units or investment properties - in Napier or elsewhere.

The Director of Corporate Services, Chief Financial Officer and Investment & Funding Managers have been delegated responsibility to consider applications on a case-by-case basis.  Age, income, annual rates payable and equity in the property are taken into account.

The postponed rates are registered on the rating unit title, which means the Council has first call on the proceeds should the property be sold or leased.

The aim of this policy is to enable Council to provide rates postponement for special and unforeseen circumstances. 

Applications for rates postponement must be made in writing by the ratepayer or their authorised agent. Each circumstance will be considered by Council on a case by case basis. Where necessary, Council consideration and decision will be made during the Public Excluded part of a Council meeting.

The terms and conditions of postponement including any application of an annual fee will be decided by Council on a case by case basis.

The applicant will be advised in writing of the outcome of the application.

Rates Remission

A Rates Remission means that a discount is applied to rates or associated penalties. For example, a full remission on a rates penalty means that the rates penalty is no longer owed. A rates remission will usually apply to a specific rates instalment or penalty.

In certain circumstances, the Council may remit penalties that apply to late rates payment. Its guiding principle is to act fairly and reasonably in treating each case on its merits.

Remission will be considered if the payment deadline isn't met because of circumstances beyond the ratepayer's control - the invoice wasn't received, for example, the payment has gone astray in the post or there may have been a death, illness or accident involving a family member at about the time rates were due.

The ratepayer's history of paying Napier rates on time and previous remissions are considered along with the application.

Remission may be granted if confusion over liability arises during a property transaction but not where professionals such as solicitors, accountants or trust companies fail to provide a professional service.

The Council's Rates Coordinator has delegated responsibility for making decisions about remitting penalties.

Application for Rates Remission for Penalties

The applicant is asked to outline in writing the special and unforeseen circumstances that apply for seeking relief by way of rates remission.

The Council considers each circumstance in the public excluded part of its meetings. Each application, and the terms and conditions of remission, are decided on a case-by-case basis. 

The applicants will be advised in writing of the outcome of the application. 

This provision is aimed at ensuring that farms (Rating Unit) less than 5 hectares receive the same overall rating treatment as farms greater than 5 hectares.

To be eligible the Rating Unit must be used predominantly for land based agriculture or farming activities.

The amount remitted will be the difference between the rates calculated on a Residential or Rural Residential differential and a Rural differential.

Applications should be made in writing to the Chief Financial Officer.

The application for rates remission must be made to Council by the 30th of April prior to the commencement of the rating year. Any remission for applications received during a rating year will be applicable from the commencement of the following rating year. Remissions will not be backdated. Declarations must be renewed every 3 years.

Application for Rates Remission for Farmland Under 5 Hectares 

A discount may be available for properties that put out less rubbish.

Properties that have demonstrated a history of reduced usage (i.e. 26 or less pick-ups in the previous rating year, or reduced to weekly from thrice-weekly for CBD properties) can apply to Environmental Solutions for a remission.

The remission will remain in place until the property is sold or rubbish collection increases above the remission threshold.

Application for The less waste incentive

A remission is available where properties that are identified as having separately used or inhabited portions (e.g. a house and a separate fully-contained granny flat) are used solely as a single family residence, with no financial gain.

Applications should be made in writing to the Chief Financial Officer.

A signed declaration must be provided to Council stating that the properties are used as a single family residence. The application must be made to Council by the 30th of April prior to the commencement of the rating year. Any remission for applications received during a rating year will be applicable from the commencement of the following rating year. Remissions will not be backdated. Declarations must be renewed every 3 years.

Application for Rate Remission 

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