Auckland ratepayers financially impacted by Covid-19 now have more time to pay their upcoming rates.
Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee on Thursday unanimously agreed that its bespoke scheme to help people deal with the pandemic would also cover the rates for the 2021/22 financial year, in addition to their 2020/21 rates.
The postponement applies to residential and commercial ratepayers who applied for the council’s ratepayers’ Covid-19 scheme . The scheme allowed people to put off paying up to $20,000 their rates per property until 30 June 2022.
Auckland ratepayers are still facing a 5 per cent bump in average general rates for the 2021 financial year.
A report noted there would be a “short-term impact on cashflow” because of the deferment, but that this was “not expected to be material”.
Mayor Phil Goff said Auckland’s current lockdown was imposing “huge costs” on residents.
“A large number of Auckland businesses are doing it tough because lockdown restrictions mean they can’t operate normally — and sometimes can’t operate at all,” he said.
“As well as providing assistance through measures such as rates postponements, council has been advocating strongly for more financial support for otherwise viable businesses which may not survive a prolonged lockdown.”
Councillors are also asking the Government to amend the law to allow councils to extend alcohol licenses to support outside dining at no extra cost.
The council’s existing support for business have also continued.
These include extending street trading licenses, waiving application fees and street trading rents for new applications, and supporting ratepayers facing financial hardship by remitting penalties.