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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Rates Rebate Scheme

Illustration of a house, blue sky and green gardenThe Rates Rebate Scheme was established in 1973 to provide a subsidy to low-income homeowners on the cost of their rates (see The Rates Rebate Act 1973 for more information). For 2006 the Government revised the Scheme and increased the rates rebate thresholds significantly, making more people than ever eligible for the rebate. These changes came into effect on 1 July of that year.

The Government, following a review of the Scheme's key settings, has further increased the rates rebate thresholds for the 2015/16 rating year.

    The following changes came into effect from 1 July 2015:
    • Maximum rebate increased from $605 to $610
    • Income threshold increased from $24,250 to $24,440
    The additional income allowance for dependants will remain at $500 per dependant.

    This means the income threshold for a full rates rebate for the 2015/16 year is $24,440 and is increased by $500 for each dependant in the household.

    Homeowners can apply for the new rebate from 1 July 2015, for the 2015/16 rating year. The closing date for applications is 30 June 2016.

    Are you eligible?

    Although a ratepayer’s income might exceed the income threshold a rates rebate could still be available, depending on the rates amount and number of dependants – see our example tables or electronic calculator to see if you could be eligible.

    If you receive a benefit from Work and Income you may also like to take a look at this Schedule of Work and Income Benefits (PDF, 10K*) for the year ended 31 March 2015. This table details the benefit rates for the tax year 2014/15 and the minimum rates payable in order to receive any or the full rebate.

    How to apply

    Ratepayers apply to their
    local council for a rates rebate. You can print and complete the following application form to apply. However, please wait until you get your 2015/16 rates bill before you see your council about a rebate. When applying for a rates rebate you will need:
    • Your rates notice (including your regional rates notice if billed separately) for the current rating year
    • Information about what your income (before tax) was for the tax year ended 31 March 2015
    • Information about what your partner/joint homeowner’s income was if he/she was normally living with you on 1 July 2015.
    Note: If you are the owner of an owner-occupier flat, and your name is not on the rates bill, you must have a letter from the person whose name is on the rates bill stating what the total rates are, and how much you pay towards them. You may use the following form for this purpose. If you are granted a rates rebate the council will reduce your rates by the amount of the rebate, or send you a cash payment if you have already paid your rates.

    *This document is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.