Rate Remission for Those Affected by Natural Disaster a Step Closer in Tasman
Tuesday 11 September 2012
The Tasman District Council has decided to consider a Rates Remission Policy specifically to assist land owners whose rateable land has been affected by natural disaster.
The rain event of December 2011 which caused widespread regional damage had a marked effect in specific locations throughout the District. One of the most affected was the eastern side of Golden Bay which is still home to 18 uninhabitable properties.
The decision to further advance the consideration of a rates remission policy was made after a public consultation process and subsequent public hearing of 29 submissions to the proposal notified in June this year.
“At the heart of such a policy is recognition of the inability of the affected property owners to utilise the majority of Council services through no fault of their own,” said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.
“Such policies are not unusual throughout the country and operate at the discretion of the Council, particularly the length of time the affected properties cannot access wastewater or stormwater services.”
“There is a humanitarian principle at the heart of this decision, however, in creating and enacting such policies there is a balance to be achieved. We must balance the needs of the affected land owners and people in dire need against the willingness of other ratepayers to support them over and above the support they will receive from insurance providers.”
“In drafting the policy the Council will need to ensure the appropriate balance and breadth of support is identified and has clear eligibility criteria for it to be effective and meet the needs of those in real need.”
With proposal accepted by the Council, the staff now have the mandate to create the policy which will be presented at the October meeting.