You could get a rates reduction as part of the government's rate rebate scheme, which provides rates assistance to low income earners.

COVID-19 rates update

On 2 April 2020 the Council agreed to a package of measures to help alleviate financial stress faced by many businesses and households in our city as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package includes offering a rates payment extension of up to six months for eligible ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic, and a three month rent holiday for some of the Council's commercial tenants.

You can read more on Newsline or find out more about eligibility and how to apply for a rates payment extension.

Unite Against Covid-19, visit

Apply for a low income earners rates rebate

Download and complete a rates rebate application form. 

Take your completed application to our of our service desks along with:

  • a copy of your current rates account
  • relevant information including total income for the tax year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

An incomplete form may not be accepted.

You can also pick up an application form at one of our service centres(external link), libraries, or by calling us on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.

In 2019/2020, the government may pay up to $640 of your rates under the rebate scheme, depending on a combination of your income, the amount of rates you are charged, and the number of dependents you have. 

Your income is based on the most recent tax year (i.e. ending 31 March). It includes your spouse's income but does not include the following:

  • disability allowance
  • cash grants/capital payments
  • war widow’s or war disablement benefits
  • medal or honour payments
  • grants for funeral expenses
  • prizes and winnings
  • family support.

Rating years run from 1 July to the following 30 June each year.  You can apply for a rebate at any time during the rating year, but your rebate cannot be back-dated to previous years.

Even if you already get a rebate, you need to re-apply each year.  We will send you an application form with your first instalment rates invoice in July.  Please allow one week for processing your application prior to your instalment due date.


To qualify for a rates rebate:

  • you must be living in the property as at the start of the rating year (1 July), and 
  • your name must be on the rates bill.

Eligibility is based on a calculation, and you may be eligible for some amount even if your income is too high to qualify for a full rebate. The application form has a table showing what level of rebate is available for a range of incomes and rates charges.

To find out if you may qualify, you can visit one of our service desks(external link), phone 0800 800 169, or use the online calculator(external link) at the Department of Internal Affairs website.