• Patrick McBride


Grey District Council have been looking how it can help people who are under financial pressure due to COVID-19. At its meeting on 23 April 2020, two ways in which Council could provide relief to the affected members of our community were adopted.

Councillors and management in Zoom meeting. PHOTO:GDC

The first is remission of the instalment and annual penalties and a change in due date of the current rates instalment for eligible people or businesses who have experienced a decrease in revenue.

Eligibility criteria is as follows:

· Loss of employment or reduction in income of more than 20%; or

· A commercial business where that business has had a minimum decline in revenue of 30% compared to the same time last year.

This will provide immediate relief to those people who need it. Please visit our website for details.

Council also adopted a draft Rates Postponement Policy to go out for public consultation. The purpose of this policy is to allow for rates postponements by long term property owner-occupiers so they can continue living in their home or operating from their commercial premises when they do not have the financial capacity to pay their rates or where the payment of rates would create financial hardship.

The proposed Rates Postponement Policy has been designed to cover both residential and commercial ratepayers. The eligibility criteria set out in the policy takes into account the ratepayer’s ability to pay their rates and whether this will create financial hardship. It also includes criteria under which the postponement will cease to apply, for example the ratepayer ceases to own or occupy the rating unit or until a date specified at the time of granting the postponement. Please visit our website to view the draft policy and have your say by 13 May 2020.

Council are aware that for some people and businesses, payment of rates will be difficult or will cause hardship and we have put the above mechanisms in place to help alleviate some of the pressure at a time which is already stressful for many. We encourage anyone facing difficulty in paying their rates to contact us early to discuss and make a plan.

Helpful link: www.greydc.govt.nz