Rates - how to pay and rebates
How to pay
Numerous options are available for people to pay their rates invoice:
Easypay direct debit options
There is an easy way for ratepayers to avoid forgetting to pay their rates. Rotorua Lakes Council can automatically process payments on a ratepayer's nominated day and take care of adjusting payment amounts (with notification to the ratepayer) in line with actual rates charges.
Easypay options are:
- Weekly on a Tuesday or Thursday
- Fortnightly on a Tuesday or Thursday
- Monthly on the 20th
- Quarterly on the 20th of August, November, February, and May
- Annually on the 20th of August
Ratepayers wanting to use direct debit payment options should complete the direct debit form enclosed with the rates invoice and return it in the reply paid envelope provided.
Metered Water Rates are automatically deducted each quarter from your nominated bank account.
Online banking and telephone banking
You can use internet or telephone banking to pay your rates and other Rotorua Lakes Council payments.
Please ensure you include your properties valuation number in the Payer Reference field.
Before contacting your bank to set up payments by telephone contact Council's Customer Service Centre on (07) 348 4199 for the information you need.
- Rotorua Lakes Council should be set up as a bill payee with your bank.
- Certain banks, e.g. ANZ, require you to contact them to set this up and you will need to provide the bank with the Valuation Number from your rates invoice for the applicable property. The bank will have all of the other required details.
- To set up Rotorua Lakes Council for your bill payment:
- Log on to your bank account
- Select your Bill Payment function
- Search for Rotorua Lakes Council, as your Bill Payee. (you do not need the bank account number.)
- Follow the prompts.
- If you experience difficulty with your internet banking set-up contact your bank's Customer Service 0800 number:
- Note: For multiple properties, it is essential that a separate payment is set up for each property.
- Regular payments are made from your bank account (weekly, fortnightly or monthly).
- You will need to increase the payments from time to time so that they completely clear your instalments and you avoid late payment penalties.
- Contact Council's Customer Service Centre for a form and further information.
You can use Mastercard or Visa to pay rates through the secure BNZ online payment service. This service is only accessible via Council's website.
BNZ charges a fee, based on the amount paid, for each transaction. Council does not receive any part of this fee.
- Pay by cash or EFTPOS at Council's Customer Service Centre.
Receiving your rates invoice
Keeping your contact details current
A key to receiving your rates invoice or Council being able to stay connected with the owners of properties in our district is for owners to keep their contact details up to date. Owners/people move, email addresses change, landlines disconnected and cell phone numbers become obsolete.
Details can be kept up to date by contacting Council's Customer Service by either:
- Visiting the customer centre 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua
- Emailing: email@example.com
- Or call: (07) 348 4199
Rates invoices by email
There is now an option to receive rates assessment and invoices by email rather than by regular mail. This should be useful for overseas-based and other non-resident property owners.
Avoiding late payment penalties
A 10% penalty applies to any part of a quarterly rates invoice not paid by the due date specified on that invoice. The final payment dates for each quarter of the rating year are 20 August, 20 November, 20 February, and 20 May.
The Rates Rebate Scheme provides assistance in the form of a rebate (i.e. a deduction from a ratepayer's rates account) to those on low incomes to assist them in meeting the cost of their rates.
You can apply for a rates rebate if you were the legal ratepayer for the property where you were usually living on 1 July on a given year. As a ratepayer your name should be on the rates bill.
Maximum Rate rebate that is able to be applied to your rates bill for 2021/2022 is $665. However, to be eligible your Maximum Income Abatement Threshold is $26,510.
To be eligible you need to declare the income that you, and any spouse, partner or joint home owner living with you on 1 July 2021, received for the tax year ended 31 March 2021. Income must be the amount received before tax and also includes some types of non-taxable income, such as certain Work and Income allowances.
How do I apply for a rates rebate?
The Rates Rebate scheme is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, however Rates Rebate applications are processed by local Councils.
|If applying between:|
July to October:
An appointment is required. If you were booked in for a rates rebate during this time period last rating year an appointment date and time will automatically be posted out to you. If this is your first time applying or you have applied before but outside of this time period (but you would like to claim during this period) contact the Rotorua Lakes Council Customer Solutions team on 07 348 4199 to book an appointment.
October to June:
Customers are welcome to come into the Rotorua Lakes Council Customer Centre during working hours, no appointment is required.
For your appointment, you will need to have the following information with you:
- Details of all Gross Income, (BEFORE TAX) - 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 financial year
- Personal Tax Summary - available from Inland Revenue.
- Phone 0800 227 774. Please note, it can take up to 10 working days before you receive this from the IRD
- Wages & Salary - (Tax Summary from IRD/employer)
- Work & Income Benefit & Superannuation - (RLC have this earnings information)
- Additional Allowances - Additional to the Benefit e.g. Accommodation Benefit - (from WINZ)
- In work Tax credits, Minimum Family Tax Credits & Parental Tax Credits - (from IRD)
- Gross Interest/ Dividends earned between 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
- Rental Income/Shares/Overseas Benefits or income
- Your Rates Invoice
- Also, your Environment Waikato rates (if applicable)
- ID - Community Services or Gold Card
Note: If someone else will be attending the appointment on your behalf, please ensure they bring a copy of the Power of Attorney giving them permission to represent you.
My income is over $26,510. Will I be eligible for a rates rebate?
You might be eligible, even if you and your spouses/partner's income is over the income abatement threshold of $26,510. Eligibility is based on your income level as well as the rates you pay and the number of dependents living with you.
Note: Try the Rates Rebate Entitlement Calculator on the Ministry of Internal Affairs website.
Can I apply for more than one rebate?
No. Ratepayers are only entitled to one Rates Rebate per rating year.
This is New Zealand wide. Therefore if a customer owns a property in Tauranga and Rotorua and has applied for and been granted a rebate in Tauranga they are not eligible to apply for a Rebate in Rotorua.