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Masterton’s unpaid rates top $1m mark

The amount of unpaid rates in Masterton has reached the $1 million mark, a report to the council’s Audit and Risk Committee reveals.

As of March 31 this year, the balance of unpaid rates was $1,001,399.

This is 22.1 per cent more than the same time last year.

Of the $1m in unpaid rates, $908,578 is from the current financial year.

The report to council said an analysis of the properties that have fallen behind on rates instalments for the current year has found they are largely urban residential properties.

“The tighter economic conditions are beginning to show in the increasing trend of rates unpaid,” the report said.

“Other property types such as commercial, rural, and beach properties have not shown an increase in numbers with arrears.

“The arrears balance at June 30, 2023, is still predicted to be less than 2 per cent of total rates levied by June 30, which is not going to adversely impact the council’s ability to operate.”

The total amount council is set to collect in rates in the current financial year is about $37.7m.

The report said another issue affecting rates collection is the recent changes banks are making to their electronic banking processes.

“Most major banks are now processing payments in real-time rather than the day after being lodged.

“This means that direct debits that are scheduled to come out of ratepayers’ bank accounts on a Wednesday, will be debited early morning rather than at the end of the day.

“This impacts those ratepayers who carefully manage their funds to ensure they have enough in an account on the day it is payable.

“They now need to have the funds in the account the night before to avoid a dishonour/bounce.”


    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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