Rating of Religious Organisations

Brad James made this Official Information request to Auckland Council

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Auckland Council should have responded by now (details and exceptions). The requester can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Brad James

Dear Auckland Council,

Recently the Auckland Council has levied rates for buildings once seen as used for "religious education and worship" (Rating religious use properties: what you need to know - Published: 27 August 2018, Auckland Council). Can you advise:

1. How did Council determine which religious rooms, car parks, ancillary areas were specifically for "religious education and worship" and which spaces were not for those purposes?
2. What is the specific definition used by Council to determine if a space is used for "religious education and worship"?
3. How did Council determine what each space within the building are being used for?
4. On what basis was the respective rateable values have been assessed?
5. If a Pastor or other church leader uses an office to give spiritual counsel and support to members of his congregation, for no remuneration, is this viewed as a "religious education and worship" purpose?
6. If the answer to 5. is that the council views this as a ratable action, can the Council clarify why this is not a "religious education and worship" use?

I look forward for your response.

Yours faithfully,

Brad James
[email address]

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