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Last reviewed: Fri, 16 Mar 2012

Communications with Central Government



This page has information on Council's interaction with Central Government.



March/April 2014 – Christchurch City Council (Rates Validation) Bill

The Christchurch City Council intends to promote a Local Bill into Parliament called the Christchurch City Council (Rates Validation) Bill.
The objects of the Bill are to:

  1. validate the payment dates for the rates; and
  2. validate the penalties added to unpaid rates; and
  3. validate the setting of the specified rates to the extent that the rates resolutions did not state the basis on which the liability for the rates would be calculated; and
  4. treat all money received by the Council in payment of the rates (including the specified rates) and penalties added to those rates as having been lawfully paid to, and received by, the Council; and
  5. authorise the Council to recover any part of the rates (including the specified rates) and any penalties added to those rates that remain unpaid as if the rates or penalties had always been lawfully payable.

In the Bill, rates means all of the rates (including the specified rates) set by the Council under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 for each of the financial years 2003/2004 to 2012/2013 (inclusive); and are referred to in the rates resolutions of the Council for those financial years. The specified rates are the Church Bay Sewer Loan rate, the Church Bay Water Loan rate, the Governors Bay Sewer Loan rate, the Governors Bay Water Loan rate, the Restricted Water Targeted rate, the Waste Minimisation rate, the Water Fire Service Connection rate, and the Uniform Annual General Charge.

Before the Bill is introduced into Parliament, the Council must publicly notify its intention to do so using the process set out in the Standing Orders of the House Of Representatives.

Related Documents

Background

It came to the attention of the Christchurch City Council that there were irregularities in the resolutions setting the Council's rates for each of the financial years 2003/2004 to 2012/2013 (inclusive). The irregularities were about the payment dates for those rates, and the authority to impose penalties on unpaid rates.

While the payment date and penalty information was set out on the rates assessments and rates invoices for each year, this information was not in the rates resolutions. This raised questions about whether it was valid to collect the rates or add penalties for non-payment. 

There were also irregularities in the setting of the Uniform Annual General Charge, and some targeted rates (the Church Bay Sewer Loan rate, the Church Bay Water Loan rate, the Governors Bay Sewer Loan rate, the Governors Bay Water Loan rate, the Restricted Water Targeted rate, the Waste Minimisation rate, and the Water Fire Service Connection rate).
Although the funding impact statements for each year included information about how liability for the targeted rates was to be calculated, this information was not in the rates resolutions.

Similarly, although the funding impact statement for each year indicated how the Uniform Annual General Charge was to be calculated (generally as a fixed amount per separately used or inhabited part of the rating unit, although in some years this was ambiguously expressed), this information was not included in the rates resolution.

It is desirable to put beyond doubt the validity of those rates that have been set and assessed, the penalties that have been added to those rates, and the Council's receipt of money in payment of those rates and penalties.

 

Authorising Unit: Legal Services

Last reviewed: Friday, 16 March 2012

Next review: Sunday, 16 September 2012

Keywords: bills (law), riccarton