Marlborough Mayor John Leggett and local Grey Power president Brian McNamara are urging people on low incomes to make sure they check to see if they’re entitled to a rebate on their rates.
The next rates instalment is due for payment by next month; Tuesday 12 December. The two leaders say there may be some people who would have a little bit more cash in their pockets for the Christmas season if they apply now for the rates rebate.
The rebate comes in the form of a payment from Internal Affairs of up to $620.00 a year to a qualifying rates account.
The Mayor says people should not be reluctant to apply.
“This is not a benefit but an entitlement and it isn’t a cost being carried by our other ratepayers. I am concerned that the numbers making a claim here seem to be a bit lower than usual. We want to make sure that everyone knows that this rebate exists.”
Mr McNamara says all bills can become a source of worry for older people having to manage on a fixed income and the rebate can make a difference.
Grey Power is also urging family and friends of senior citizens to make sure the rebate is being taken up.
“I would hate to think that anyone was either not aware, or not willing, to claim the help to which they’re entitled,” said Mr McNamara.
Last year, rebates were paid to 1869 Marlborough ratepayers but so far this year only 1634 people have received a full or partial rebate. The level of rates rebate will depend on the amount of the rates bill, the applicant’s total income including a partner’s income and the number of dependents living at the property.
Mr Leggett says people should not hesitate to contact Council Customer Services, phone 520 7400, to find out if they qualify and how to apply.
A fresh application for the rebate must be lodged at the Council each year. Ratepayers need to provide information about their income before tax for the year ended 31 March 2017, including any interest earned or WINZ benefits, and where there is a partner, details of their income.