Auckland Council has become the first local authority to top-up the Government's rates rebate scheme for low income households.
The council will reduce rates for elderly people who don't meet the criteria for the Government rebate.
Ratepayers who meet certain criteria, including a means test, are entitled to a rebate of up to $580, paid for by the Government.
However, people who live in retirement villages on a licence-to-occupy basis are not entitled to the rebate because the property title does not list them as the full owner, even though they pay rates through their licence.
The council has agreed to provide a rates rebate of up to $350 based on the same eligibility criteria the Government uses.
The scheme will cost the council $1.6 million during this financial year, including $100,000 to set-up and run the scheme.
The rebate will be paid to the operator of the retirement village and will be reversed if it is not passed on to the residents.