Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill

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Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill

132—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

The rates rebate scheme was introduced in 1973 to allow ratepayers of residential properties who are on low incomes to receive a rebate on their rates. This was before the expansion of retirement villages and occupation right agreements (ORAs). Residents of retirement villages with ORAs pay rates but, in most circumstances, pay indirectly (i.e. to the retirement village owner) rather than directly to the local authority. Under the Rates Rebate Act 1973, these residents are not entitled to a rates rebate. It is this anomaly that this Bill addresses.

Some local authorities have changed their rating practice so that individual residents with ORAs are billed directly for their rates. In these instances, the residents are entitled to apply for a rates rebate. This amendment would ensure that, regardless of the billing practice of the local authority, residents are recognised as paying rates, and are therefore entitled to apply for a rates rebate.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause

Clause 2 provides that the Bill comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Clause 3 provides that the Bill amends the Rates Rebate Act 1973 (the principal Act).

Clause 4 amends section 5 of the principal Act, by replacing the definition of ratepayer with one that recognises as ratepayers not only those persons defined as ratepayers under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, but also those residents of retirement villages who pay rates, directly or indirectly, in connection with their occupation right agreements. Clause 4 further amends section 5 of the principal Act by providing definitions of terms, related to retirement villages, that are used in the replacement definition of ratepayer.