Otago residents who forgot to pay their Otago Regional
Council rates will have to pay a penalty earlier than in the
Letters advising ratepayers of the 10% penalty would arrive
in people's letterboxes during the next week, council
corporate services director Wayne Scott said.
Earlier this year, the council agreed to move the penalty
date from January 1 to November 1.
About 88% of ratepayers paid their bill by the new deadline
compared with 90% when the penalty date was in January.
Mr Scott said it was hard to directly compare the figures as
the council had also implemented a new payment plan allowing
people to pay in three instalments. That gave people on low
incomes some flexibility and allowed those with large bills
to space out their payments, he said.
The council advertised the new deadline widely but there were
always some people who overlooked the bill, he said.
"We're quite comfortable. It's a couple of months earlier so
it's not surprising."