So far the City Council has processed nearly 1,400 applications and, on average, people have received a rebate of $490.
The response has been greater than for the same period last year when just over 1,000 had made application and received a rebate, on average, of $466.
The scheme, funded by the government and operated by local authorities, provides a subsidy for low income homeowners.
Under the new thresholds which applied from July 1, 2008:
- The maximum rebate increased from $500 to $530
- The income threshold increased from $20,000 to $21,180 plus the additional income of $500 per dependent.
The City Council's Strategy Manager - Finance, Steve Paterson, explains that the amount of rebate a person is entitled to depends on their gross income before tax (for the year to March 31, 2008), the total rates for the property (for both the City Council and Horizons) and the number of dependants.
"The positive response is a reflection of the community's increasing awareness of rate rebates and Council initiatives to inform them about the scheme," Steve says.
He points out that there's still time for people to make application. They have until the end of the financial year, June 30, 2009, however he encourages them to apply sooner rather than later so they can receive immediate benefits of the scheme.
"Because of the higher thresholds that apply from this year and increased rates some people, who were declined last year, could now qualify this time round," he says.
If people have inquiries they should contact the City Council's Customer Service Centre on 356-8199 or check the website www.ratesrebates.govt.nz