Southern councils are reassuring ratepayers late penalties on overdue rates are legal in the wake of a Christchurch City Council blunder.
Earlier this week, it was revealed the Christchurch City Council had failed to formally resolve due dates for rates and penalty payments for the past nine years, calling the legality of the penalties into question.
Southland District Council transactional accountant Jamie Cunningham said the council's rating process had been reviewed by a law firm in 2008 to ensure it was legal.
Staff had also double-checked its books after news of the Christchurch bungle broke, but the council was certain it had all its "ducks in a row", he said.
Gore District Council general manager corporate services Russell Duthie said staff were confident they had the right wording in the rates resolution to allow them to charge late penalties on rates and set due dates.
He had a quick look again this week to make sure everything was in order, but as resolving the rates was an annual process it was fairly straightforward, he said.
Clutha District Council and Invercargill City council staff said they had not checked their rates resolutions again this week as they were confident they were correct.
Invercargill City Council corporate planner Melissa Short said the council passed its rates resolution separate from the annual plan to ensure all vital information was included.
Central Otago District Council corporate services manager Susan Finlay said elected members had asked the council to check its procedures once news of the Christchurch City Council bungle broke.
There was no issue with Central Otago and the information was contained in several sources, including the annual plan and the resolutions used to strike the rates. "As soon as someone advised me it was an issue we've certainly made sure we've checked it out," she said.
Queenstown Lakes District councillors struck the district rates at a meeting earlier this week.
Information under "rates and charges" details due dates for payment, the last dates for payments and applicable additional charges for late payments.
No-one was available for comment yesterday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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