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Decision on fairer rating system

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The Council yesterday agreed a number of changes to how rates are spread across the city following recent feedback from residents and businesses.

City Direction Committee Chair ‘Ana Coffey said the Rating Policy will now guide how rates are set in the 2018-38 Long-term Plan.

“We considered carefully the 60 or so submissions we received and responded by changing our original proposals to reflect the views of our community. Our main concern was to make it fair and equitable for the whole city while listening to the concerns of the people who were affected. The changes we’ve made will better balance how rates are spread across business, residential and rural ratepayers.” 

Mayor Mike Tana says the feedback was appreciated.

“After hearing from our businesses we agreed to extend the time-period for equalising the shopping plaza rates with the business sector – so it will be gradually increased over six years rather than three to help soften the impact,” Mayor Tana said.

The Council agreed to introduce a City Development Rate (CDR) across the whole of the commercial sector set at $590k next year with a gradual increase over the following five years to settle on just over  $1 million CDR in year 6. This will be offset by the lowering of the business differential from 3.5 to 3.1 over six years.

“Currently a City Centre Development Rate is charged on only 56 properties in the CBD and this rate will stop from 1 July 2018. The City Development costs will be spread across the whole of the commercial sector. The changes don’t mean that the Council will get more money – it’s simply a redistribution of rates,” Mayor Tana says.

Clr Coffey said there was lots of feedback on changes to the rural rates differential and she was particularly pleased that the Hongoeka community came to speak to Council.

“The Council acknowledges the special features of the Hongoeka Community and we will look at how to fairly set rates for the community. I look forward to having that conversation during the Long-term Plan consultation next year.”

After listening to feedback from the rural sector the Council agreed to make changes to what they had been proposing.   

“We agreed to two separate rural differentials, one for commercial farming activities and one for the rest of the rural community - mainly rural lifestyle blocks.

Commercial farming, properties of 50 hectares or more, will continue to retain the 0.7 rural differential and the rest of the rural community with properties less than 50 hectares will have a rural differential of 0.8. This will be transitioned over a 6 year period.”

14 Dec 2017