Masterton waives late fees due to Covid-19

12:40 pm on 1 April 2020

Masterton District Council still wants rates, but will waive some penalties for late payment.

Masterton on the morning of 26 March, on the first day of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Masterton - pictured on the first day of the Covid-19 lockdown on Thursday 26 March Photo: RNZ / Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

The district council proposed an average rates rise of around 6 percent in the consultation document for the 2020/2021 year, which was released in March.

Chief executive Kath Ross said it was still seeking rates payments for the rest of the current year.

But the council has already decided to waive late payment penalties for the next two quarters, and the arrears penalty for rates unpaid at the end of June.

"The council is very mindful of the economic impact of Covid-19 on many ratepayers and is reviewing its draft annual plan to ensure it can maintain essential services while also working to identify activities and projects that assist economic and social recovery," Ms Ross said.

"However, it still wants ratepayers to continue paying rates to avoid falling further behind."

Ms Ross said the council was still seeking public opinion on the matters raised in the draft plan.

The annual plan will be further reviewed in the light of the Covid-19 response, she said.

"We ask people to continue to give us feedback, preferably online if possible.

"Council will be relooking at what the annual plan for next year should contain in light of the Covid-19 situation and taking into account feedback through the submission process as we do this."

Public submissions close on Monday 20 April.

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