Before you push the panic button, here’s the real story on rates

12 May, 2023Posted in: Corporate Affairs
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Don’t let misunderstanding put a damper on the good news that your land value is on the increase.

Every 3 years, Council is supplied new land values by the Valuer General. Even when land values increase, the maximum amount we are able to increase our overall rate income is capped by the rate peg limit set each year by IPART. For 2023/24, this rate peg is 4.1%.

When calculating your rates each year, Council multiplies your land value by an advalorem rate that is set by Council for each category of property. To allow for the new, mostly higher, land values, Council adjusts this rate based on the average increase within each category.

So even if your land value has increased by as much as 75%, this does not mean that the land rates you pay will increase by 75%. Depending on how your land value measures up against the average land value for your area, you may pay a little more, or possibly even less, than the 4.1% increase.

What does this mean for you?

As a guide, the average increase across each category was as follows:

  • Residential 74.4%
  • Residential Renwick 58.5%
  • Business 47.3%
  • Farmland 90.5%
  • Mining -12.5%

The general rule of thumb is that if your individual land value has increased by the average for that category, you can expect that your rates will only increase by the rate peg of 4.1%. If your land value has increased by more than the average, your rates will increase by a proportion more than the rate peg. Some concerned customers have been relieved to do the calculations and discover that their rates will actually decrease because their land value has increased by less than the average.

Investment is being made in the extensive technological upgrades needed to put the calculations that would give rate payers peace of mind, at their fingertips. “We want to make it easy for landowners to access the information they need to understand exactly what this means for them and our largely manual systems are in need of an upgrade to be able to provide that,”  the Council spokesperson said.

The detail of Council’s plans for the coming financial year, including how rates, fees and charges are being addressed, was presented at this week’s Extraordinary Meeting of Council where community members had the opportunity to participate. Council is committed to ensuring that we maintain a financially sustainable position and the 2023/24 Operational Plan presented is designed to ensure that a financially responsible budget is in place that will enable us to deliver all of the projects and services our community has prioritised, within the resources available.

In some areas, moving to a user-pays model for fees and charges is proposed as an alternative to increases across the board.

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