Even if you don’t have the information needed to complete the form, tell us what you do know. We’ll register your interest in rates relief and contact you to discuss the details.
If you think you qualify for rates relief and are considering applying, please keep in mind that:
- because you have a legal obligation to pay rates, the Council needs written evidence that your property qualifies before it can authorise relief
- if you are still waiting for information, put a note at the bottom of the form that you are “still awaiting written confirmation from EQC and/or insurer”.
- answer the remaining questions to the best of your knowledge, and
- the Council will follow up with you.
Timing your application
If you don’t have all the information you need right now, either:
- ask EQC or your insurer to provide you with the detailed information you need as evidence,
- fill the form in now to indicate that you believe you qualify (and keep paying your rates in full until your remission is approved), or
- wait until you have the information you need before filling in the form (and keep paying your rates until your remission is approved).
If you qualify for relief, the Council will backdate any rates refund to the date you qualified. So don’t worry if you don’t have all the information you need yet.
The Council’s rationale for this approach
Under normal circumstances, severely damaged properties (eg those destroyed by fire) do not qualify for rates relief. Following the earthquake the Council has adopted an extraordinary rates relief package for worst-affected commercial and residential property owners. We expect about 2000 properties qualify.
The Council when making its decision determined that it needed to strike a fair, equitable balance that was affordable to the City. It also wanted to make it possible for people believing they qualify to establish communication with the Council even if the written evidence is not yet available.
Ratepayers experiencing hardship are urged to take up available support. Residents experiencing hardship are encouraged to approach the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission. Businesses can access support through the website www.recovercanterbury.co.nz.
Residential and commercial property owners could also contact the Council about rates payment options. Consider setting up a direct debit “Rates Easypay” service. This will spread your payments and make each payment more manageable.