Rates rebates applications made easier

Published on August 12, 2022


Applications are now open for rate rebates, and this year the process is even easier.

Around 2,000 Horowhenua ratepayers are likely to be eligible for a rates rebate of up to $700, and applicants no longer need to book time with a Council officer to complete their application. In the past, applicants whose only source of income was from Work and Income also had to go to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for proof of income.

Group Manager Organisation Performance Jacinta Straker says, “We are striving to ensure that everyone who is eligible receives the rebate. If your only income is from benefits and you complete our Rates Rebate MSD Income Release Waiver form, we’ll get your proof of income on your behalf. This saves you having to go between Council and MSD. In the past, you needed to come and sign in person but now you simply need to complete the form, which will be included in your mid-August rates notice. The forms are also available at our Civic Building and on our website.”

The Rates Rebate Scheme provides a rebate of up to $700 for people whose annual income is $28,080 or less, and who are paying rates for the home they were living in on 1 July 2022. The income threshold increases by $500 for each dependant in your household. Rebates are calculated based on your income, the number of dependents living with you and the total amount of rates for 2022/23. Proof of income from IRD is required if you receive other sources of income (eg interest, rentals) on top of your benefit.

As an example, if your rates are $3,000 in total for Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council combined, and your income is closer to $40,000, you are eligible for approximately $400.

If you think you might be eligible for a rates rebate, you can follow the process below to get started.

Check your eligibility

To check your entitlement, visit the 'Getting a rates rebate’ page on the New Zealand Government website www.govt.nz and enter your details into the rebate calculator.

You’ll need to provide:

  • proof of income (before tax) for the tax year ended 31 March 2022 (this includes any interest at the bank); and
  • proof of your spouse/partner's or joint income if living together.

We’ll be able to access your rates information.

Additionally, for self-employed people:

  • a complete set of business accounts for the year ended 31 March 2022
  • you cannot offset business losses against other income
  • business losses should be entered as $0.

How to apply

Complete the relevant form(s)

The Rates Rebates application, declaration and waiver forms will be sent with your rates notice in mid-August and are also available online by visiting horowhenua.govt.nz/ratesrebates.

If your only source of income (and your spouse/partner/joint homeowner's only income) was from benefits, we can get your proof of benefit income on your behalf if you also complete the Rates Rebate MSD Income Release Waiver form.

If you live in a retirement village, your village manager is required to sign a declaration form.

Return your completed forms

You can choose to apply by email, mail or in person.

  • By email: Scan your completed application form, including the supporting documents, and email them to ratesrebates@horowhenua.govt.nz.
  • By post: Send your completed application form, including the supporting documents, to Horowhenua District Council, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540.
  • In person: Make an appointment with one of our friendly team members. Phone us on 06 366 0999 or email your name and phone number to ratesrebates@horowhenua.govt.nz

Applications close on Friday 30 June 2023.

Need help?

While Council staff no longer need to be present to complete applications, we are happy to help. Call us on 06 366 0999 or email your name and phone number to ratesrebates@horowhenua.govt.nz for assistance.

If you think you might struggle to meet your next rates payment, even if you’re not eligible for a rates rebate, our team are here to support you. We know things are tough at the moment with rising living costs. There are several ways we can help you manage your rates payments, such as spreading your payments into affordable amounts to be paid during the year by direct debit so you avoid any penalties. Email us on enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz or call 06 366 0999 to discuss a payment plan that works for you.

What happens next?

If you’re successful, we'll deduct the amount of your rebate from your rates bill. If you’ve already paid your rates in full, we’ll give you a refund.