The briefing papers for the council meeting of 26 January next contain this draft submission from the council to the central government, for councilors’ approval.

The Rates Rebate Scheme is for low income property owner-occupiers who get rebates on their rates to a maximum of about $700 a year at present; this is administered by the councils around the country — but refunded to them by the central government.

Retirement village residents in ‘licence to occupy’ villages don’t get these as they are not owners — they are effectively renters, paying effectively a bond to the property company of the whole value of the house/flat at the time they move in; they (or their heirs) get it back when they leave, less hefty ‘refurbishment’ fees.  They also pay normal monthly rentals to the property company.

But — it is revealed in paragraph 11 of this submission that the KCDC gives rebates to such people anyway of up to $150 per resident.  This is news to us.

We will enquire of the KCDC what precisely it donates to the residents of these villages, also if the property businesses (Summerset, Ryman, Metlife etc.) also get any direct concessions on what rates normal property owners have to pay.

The response will be reported on here.