Rating Review Project

South Wairarapa District Council this year will undertake a full rating review as part of its Long-term Plan (LTP).

The Council will be engaging with the community throughout the review process, with formal public consultation occurring in mid-September 2023. Any changes to policies from this review would be implemented from 1 July 2024.

The rating policy review will look at how the overall rates bill is divided up, that is, how the Council determines the proportion each ratepayer is levied.

Each year, the Council sets its overall budget as part of either the Long-term Plan or the Annual Plan process. The rates-funded component of that budget is then collected from ratepayers.

The proportion each ratepayer pays depends on a range of factors, such as the property’s value, whether it is commercial or residential, and what services the property receives.

Although the Council did not make any changes to the Rating Policies during the LTP 2021/31 process, after feedback from the community, a full rating review commenced in 2022.

In reviewing our Rating Policy, the Council considers community outcomes, the distribution of benefits between the community, any identifiable parts of the community and individuals, intergenerational equity, and cost and benefits.
We want to work with the community to decide on a better allocation of rates that meets South Wairarapa’s needs, now and in the future.

The rating policy review will consider the following:

  • Fairness – Considering affordability relative to matters such as access to services, land versus capital value.
  • Transparency – Providing clear information so the rating model is understood, and ratepayers know what they will need to pay. This includes being clear and transparent about the Council’s rates remissions and postponements policies.
  • Efficient use of land – Considering how to address under-utilised land, low-density land use and land banking. For example, considering if land value is a more appropriate measure to base rates on than capital value, and/or whether a different rate should be set for vacant land.
  • Differential rates – Considering how different multipliers are applied to different categories. For example, if there is a need to separate out larger commercial premises from smaller commercial premises.
  • Targeted rates – Considering the costs and benefits of targeted rates for specific purposes, such as roading, refuse, water and wastewater.

The six policies under review are:

  1. Revenue & Financing Policy
  2. Postponement of Rates Policy
  3. Remission of Rates Policy
  4. Remission & Postponement of Rates on Māori Freehold Land Policy*
  5. Water by meter leak write off – subset of the remission policy*
  6. Coastal Erosion – a subset of the remission policy*

*These three policies will now be included in the Remission of Rates Policy.

Here’s a link to the Rating Policies Review consultation page

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