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Frequently Asked Questions

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Most of the current system has been in place for over 30 years. Some properties are now receiving more services than they used to, and some properties were residential but are now being used as commercial or industrial sites. The rates on these properties were never adjusted to reflect the changes.

Other projects demanded more urgent attention, but it’s now time to tidy up the historical inconsistencies.

It is a complex process to change the way rates are applied to various property types and any changes have a knock-on effect to other policies.

Nothing has changed recently, but many of the affected properties used to be part of Hawke’s Bay County Council (pre-1989) and were rated differently. Other properties have had services such as drinking and wastewater services made available to them many years ago, but rates were never adjusted to reflect those new services being provided. This means other ratepayers were subsidising the low rates for a number of properties.

No. Some properties’ rates will go up and some will go down, but the total amount of rates that Council collects will stay the same.

None. The current system is historic and in some cases it doesn’t match the current services available or the current use of properties.

The proposed changes are about ensuring equity and consistency between properties. Similar properties will now pay similar rates.

We are considering a Wastewater Targeted Rate based on the number of toilets properties have. This would replace the current Sewerage Targeted Rate. More data would need to be collected before a proposal is put to the community. At this stage we are seeking feedback on the concept.

Most ratepayers will pay slightly less in General Rates. Ratepayers under General Rate differentials 411 (Ex-City Rural), 511 (Other Rural) and 611 (Bay View) could pay more. You can look up your General Rate differential on our website using the keyword search #ratesdatabase.

Use the rates comparison tool on our website to see what your proposed rates may be. Please note that information in the rates comparison tool is based on data from the 2020/21 ratings year and is for comparative purposes only.

Yes. Each year Council sets its annual plan which often results in a rates increase. This year (2020/21) the increase agreed to by Council was 4.8%.

However, the proposed changes are about making sure each property pays an appropriate amount of the city’s total rates. These changes do not affect the total amount of rates that Council collects.

Please contact us as soon as possible. There are a few options to help you meet your rates payment obligations, if your rates do increase. You can also find out if you qualify for the Accommodation Supplement through Work and Income.

No. If adopted, the proposed changes would take effect from July 2021 and onwards.

Council provides many services as a public good to the whole community – services such as parks, libraries and playgrounds. Other services might not be used by a particular property, but the service is available to be used at any time, and there is still a cost in providing that service. An example of this is sewerage.

We believe that there are few differences between most of the services received by rural and urban residential properties. Where rural properties are unable to receive some of these services (e.g. water and sewerage) they will not pay for them. Other services are funded through Targeted Rates, which are specific services provided to a property, such as rubbish collection.

Commercial and Industrial properties pay higher General Rates to reflect a greater demand on city services compared to other property types.

Stormwater is currently funded through the General Rate. We are proposing to create a separate Stormwater rate. The reduction in the General Rate from 2.68 to 2.5 reflects that change.

Not all properties use the stormwater network to the same extent. Properties that have a lot of hard, non-porous surfaces place a higher demand on our stormwater network. We are proposing to move Stormwater funding from everybody’s General Rate to a Targeted Rate so we can transfer more of the cost to those properties that will likely use it the most.

Capital Value (CV) is based on the value of land and improvements (e.g. buildings, landscaping). Capital Value more accurately reflects the likely demand a property will have on the stormwater network than Land Value (LV) alone. For example, with LV, a bare section and a fully built property could both have the same LV. The empty section would have some degree of absorption when it rains, whereas the section that is fully built on would have more rain run-off. Using Capital Value, the bare section would be charged a lower Stormwater rate.


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