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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

RATES AND REBATES IN THAMES

An elderly woman came up to me in Placemakers and asked if the rates rebates would still be available if the Local Government Commission moves us to Thames-Coromandel District Council.

Of course. Those rebates for people on low incomes are from the government, not councils. So they are available no matter which council you are with.

She was also worried that our rates would rise, because she had noticed that the rates in Thames township are much higher. Yes, they are higher, but that is because Thames's rates include charges for reticulated water and wastewater, which Waiheke does not have. But even with those charges in Thames and a few other places, the average rates for the whole peninsula are $83 lower than the average on Waiheke. And when those charges are taken off the average rates are $290 lower. Even better, when Auckland's rates-rises over the last two years are replaced with Thames-Coromandel's changes (they actually went down 8.98% in 2007/2008), the peninsula's average is $502 lower than Waiheke's.

On top of that, the reorganisation document rules out an increase in rates for the first year, then it limits any rises to the change in the consumer-price index (unless the community decides otherwise).