The Northern Territory Manual for Council Staff working with Rates and Charges
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dhcd.nt.gov.au Page 24 of 35 March 2017, version 12 This option would generally apply to long term cases of extreme financial hardship, or where council extends hardship assistance to self-funded pensioner and retiree ratepayers. Depending on council policy, rates and charges, or part thereof, may be deferred after consideration of the following factors: Is the ratepayer a pensioner with a low fixed income? Is the ratepayer aware of circumstances which will make payment difficult? Are there long term issues which may affect the ratepayers ability to meet future commitments? Council should periodically review the total amount of deferred rates and charges which have accrued against any property which is the subject of deferred rates. An example of deferment of rates is where a pensioner/s may have a high value property and consequently high rates but insufficient income to pay the rates. In these type of cases, council or council policy may allow deferring the rates until such time as the property is sold. Payment of rates and charges Liability Section 150(1) of the LGA states that the owner and, where applicable, the occupier of an allotment are jointly and severally liable for rates payable in respect of an allotment. Note that if a council is to rely on occupation for a person or entity to be liable for rates on Land Trust land, sections 150 and 151 of the LGA apply. An occupier of an allotment (if not an owner) does not become liable for rates in respect of the allotment unless the occupier's name is entered in the assessment record. This can occur on the occupier's own application, as the principal ratepayer for the allotment, or the council can give the occupier written notice that it proposes to seek recovery of rates from the occupier. If the council gives such notice, the occupier is only liable for a proportionate part of the rates in that financial year. This does not make the occupier liable for previous rates debt on the property. Apportionment where land rateable for part only of a financial year If land becomes rateable during the course of a financial year, or ceases to be rateable during the course of a financial year, the ratepayer is only liable for a proportion of the annual rates, based on the number of days for which the land is rateable in the financial year. The council must make any refund or remission of rates necessary to give effect to this.
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