Buller District Council

Rate Payment Options for those affected by COVID-19

We as a community are facing COVID-19 together and we are here to support you. The Council is continuing to work hard ensuring essential services are effectively delivered and maintained across our District.

During this time we know that some residents and business owners are worried about their finances. While we cannot make changes to the rates in this current year, we can look at alternative arrangements for payment that might help in the short-term.

Council is looking closely at its budgets for the coming Draft Annual Plan 2020 – 2021 to see if there are any changes that can be made to defer projects or reduce spending to bring any increases to as low a level as possible. While this happening, Council will work with ratepayers who think they might have difficulty meeting their next payments.

Payment options

  • Set up a direct debit to spread your payment equally over the instalment period or beyond if necessary
    (Click here to print a copy of the direct debit form).
  • Consider increasing the frequency of an existing direct debit to make smaller more regular payments.
  • Reduce the amount of your direct debit temporarily until your situation improves.
  • Defer the payment of the next instalment without penalty, then pay two instalments together next time, this requires some certainty that you will be able to pay a higher amount in August.
  • Depending on your household income you may be eligible to receive up to $640 off your rates account through the Rates Rebate Scheme click here or contact us for help to determine if you are eligible.
  • Investigate other forms of financial assistance that may be available such as talking to your bank or applying for a government wage subsidy.

Late payment penalties

Late payment penalties will not apply if a payment arrangement has been agreed.

Applying for a rates payment extension

Council is offering an extension of time for Rates instalment four. All eligible ratepayers will have up to six months to pay this instalment. Click here to access the application form.

For your residential property

To be eligible for consideration for the rates payment extension you will need to confirm that as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, you (as the owner-occupier) have lost your job, or your normal income from all sources has been reduced by 20% or more for at least one month before this rates instalment due date.

For your business property

To be eligible for consideration for the rates payment extension you will need to confirm that your business has had a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of the month when compared with the same month last year and that the decline is related to COVID-19.

Application form and support

Click here to download a copy of the form to apply to pay your rates by a payment arrangement.

Please email us at rates@bdc.govt.nz or call 0800 807 239 if you need us to post a copy of this form to you, or if you think you might need some help making arrangements to pay your rates.

We can also send out direct debit forms and talk to you about your options. Or Click here to download a copy of the Direct Debit form.

If you can pay your next instalment we ask that you do so.

In the coming weeks, the Council will be reviewing its Draft Annual Plan provisions and with this, rates for the 2020 – 2021 year. The community is very much at the centre of this decision making process and Council will be in touch with more information about this as soon as possible.

Your rates ensure essential roading and safety repairs are made and emergency services (Civil Defence) are operational. Rates ensure urban households have safe drinking water, the wastewater treatment system keeps operating, rubbish is collected, burials can take place, and essential services continue.

Council appreciates many in our community are experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19, but it is important you do not stop paying your rates or cancel your direct debit. If rates are not paid our recovery will be slower, more painful, and more expensive next year.

Contact us

Please remember that even though our facilities are closed we are still here for you and you can contact us:

  • Talk to the rates team during usual business hours phone one of the following numbers: 03 788 9608, 0800 807 239, 027 414 0699 or 0272183888
  • Council Service Centre phone 0800 807 239 or email info@bdc.govt.nz.
  • Or search for us on facebook @BullerDistrictCouncil

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