Increase in Rates

Rates are local taxes which landowners pay to their local council. If you own a house or land, you pay rates every year, although most people prefer to pay one quarter of their rates, four times a year.

The information about your rates is now on the website of your local council. You just enter your address, and you will find out how much you have to pay. Nearly all councils increase their rates each year by a few percent or as much as 7%.

If you rent, your landlord pays the rates and your rent could increase if the rates increase too much.

What are rates for? Many things provided by your local council such as rubbish collection, parks, libraries and museums, buses, maintaining roads and footpaths, cycleways, waste water systems, special events or celebrations and for most people, your rates include fresh water. Aucklanders, however, pay for water separately.

Rates are different from income tax which you pay each year to the IRD, the Inland Revenue Department. The government uses tax money for education, health, justice, police, social welfare, major roads, conservation and immigration. For each of these, the Prime Minister appoints a Minister: for example, the Minister of Education.

Vocabulary

• maintain – keep in good condition
• waste water – 2 systems: 1. storm water and 2. sewage (from bathroom and kitchen)
• inland – inside New Zealand, not overseas
• revenue – finance, money
• conservation – e.g. National Parks, saving the kiwi
• appoint – give someone an official job






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