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Friday, March 14, 2008

Discount

Auckland City Council's rates discount:
Advantages of paying in full
If you pay the full amount of your rates by the first instalment date:
you will get a 2.83 per cent discount


Rodney District Council:
Discount for payment of full year rates
Customers wishing to pay their annual rates in full by the last day for payment of the first instalment will be eligible for a 5% discount.


So, people wealthy enough to have the cash available to pay the whole year's rates at once get a discount, while those struggling to pay have to pay the full amount. And in Rodney:
Customers will be charged a 10 percent penalty on any part of the current instalment that is not paid on the due date.

Is it fair that wealthy people - the people the least in need of a discount - receive a discount because of their superior financial position? Or is the "opportunity cost" and interest value forgone by paying immediately (and convenience created by the early cashflow to the Council) supposed to make it fair? Would you treat your customers like that? Is the penalty regime fair? Customers? Rates? They mean taxpayers and taxes. And then they chuck on GST to boot.

... still no clocks at all on Auckland's new railway platforms.

4 Comments:

At 14/3/08 3:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that these schemes exist is that councils want you to pay all at once rather than drip feeding them through the year. That way they have money on hand for big capital projects right away. If it actually cost them more money they wouldn't offer it.

The incentive is needed because nobody in their right mind will stump up more than they need to. And when you could be getting over 8% with your money in the bank a 2.8% discount actually seems a little stingy.

If there weren't any penalties for not paying promptly then why would anyone pay at all? Try putting your HPs off for a few weeks and see how playing the "customer" card goes.

 
At 14/3/08 4:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no clocks on the railways platform and no tree on one tree hill - what the heck are these council folk up too????

 
At 15/3/08 11:44 pm, Blogger rangi said...

its because clocks would only remind you how fucking useless the trains are

 
At 16/3/08 3:05 am, Blogger tussock said...

You get about 4% interest relative to the total amount if you have enough money up front but chose to pay it over quarters. It costs the council a similar amount in bridging finance or lost interest.

Anything around that mark is fair.

The immediate 10% is ludicrous, like it is with various utility bills.
20%pa is penalty rates, and it costs the council no more than that to allow for late payments, 2% per month over not charged 'till the next payment would easily cover any losses.

 

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