16 May 2012

Council adopts Rates Remission Policy

Nelson City Council yesterday adopted a Rates Remission Policy for people affected by the December flood event.

Councillor Ruth Copeland, Governance Committee Co-Portfolio Holder, says the Council wants to help those who can no longer live in their homes by adjusting their rates bills accordingly.

“The severe floods and slips we had last December have significantly impacted a number of ratepayers. We feel it’s important to help them in their time of need by offering a rates remission on fixed services to the property for the time it is uninhabitable.”

Councillor Derek Shaw, Governance Committee Co-Portfolio Holder, adds that the policy applies to people who have not been living in their homes for 30 days or more.

“We’ve tried to strike a careful balance between providing relief to affected property owners while ensuring the resulting burden falling on all ratepayers is equitable and fair.”

The criteria determining a property that qualifies for the December 2011 rainfall event are:

  • The property was issued with a Section 124 notice, and the property was uninhabitable for 30 days or more from the issue of that section 124 notice, or
  • An EQC assessment of the property has been carried out which indicates that the conditions and criteria in the Rates Remission Policy have been met, or
  • A certificate under the Earthquake Commission ACT 1993 is placed on the title of the property.

A total of 125 properties were issued with a Section 124 notice. Of those notices, 41 were lifted within 30 days of the event and 84 remained in place after 30 days.

Council will contact property owners who were issued with a Section 124 notice to advise them of the new policy.

Meantime, Council is working proactively with Quotable Value to ensure properties affected by the December flood event are accurately valued in time for the 2012/13 rating year.