Rebates popular with ratepayers

People appear to be taking up the offer of a rates rebate enthusiastically, according to the latest Timaru District Council figures.

About 1700 rates rebates have been processed since the council put out its notice last month.

Last year, 1848 ratepayers in the Timaru district - 8.4 per cent - received rates rebates of up to $590, but corporate services manager Tina Rogers said it was difficult to tell how many would eventually take up the offer for the current financial year.

"It is hard to compare the rate rebates with last year as it depends on when ratepayers apply for the rebate. They can apply any time up to 30 June [next year]," she said.

The majority of superannuitants and other beneficiaries, as well as those on low incomes who own their own properties, will receive at least a partial rebate through the scheme, which is government funded.

The scheme was introduced almost 40 years ago, but the criteria was initially so tight only a handful of people qualified each year.

The newer, lower thresholds came in about five years ago, meaning the majority of applicants were likely to get the full $590 rebate available this financial year.

Ms Rogers said the amount of the rebate depended on a combination of income before tax, the rates charged and the number of dependants.

Waimate District Council has processed 403 rates rebates for the year so far, while it processed 486 rebates for the last complete financial year.

In the Mackenzie district, 67 rebates have been processed for the year so far, against 131 for the last financial year.

The Timaru Herald