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New rating model adopted

A new rating model reflecting Council’s goal of a less complex system that is affordable and appropriate was adopted by councillors at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday.

The new rating system will take effect from July 1, 2021 and consists of five General Rate differentials with forestry carrying the largest weighting at a differential of 4.0, commercial at 1.6, residential at 1.0, residential properties valued at over $399,999 at 0.8 and rural at 0.7.

The new rating model results in a General Rate being based on Capital Value, moving 10% of the Water, Wastewater, Stormwater and Waste Management rates to the General Rate and moving 50% of the Uniform Annual General Charge to the General Rate.

The rates review began last year in response to ongoing issues with the current system being outdated and overly complex with more than 30 differentials.

Community engagement on the proposal saw a total of 263 submissions received with the hearing of submissions taking place over two days.

In December, councillors requested further modelling be carried out, including investigations into the differentials for forestry and high value residential rating units.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little believes the new rating model reflects the feedback received from the community through submissions, community meetings and caravan sessions.

“Reviewing the rates has been a massive task and if we had not taken the review as far as we did, we would not have collected such a vast amount of feedback.

“It is a tribute to Council’s engagement and the community input that we have adopted a model that I believe the majority of our community will be happy with.

“We have struck a balance where we have listened to the community while achieving a future rating system that is simple, affordable and appropriate.

“This demonstrates Council takes feedback into consideration and we hope to continue this level of engagement as we move into the consultation stage of the Long-Term Plan 2021-31.”

Mr Little thanked staff and elected members for the work that had gone into the review and also members of the public who shared their thoughts and opinions.

He said a differential factor of 4.0 for forestry reflects community feedback that this sector contributes less towards the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the district.

The Rates Review also highlighted differences between forestry land that is classified as Indigenous and that which is Exotic, and Council will consider this and decide if it is appropriate to rate land planted in exotic and indigenous forests the same.

The new rating system is a component of the Revenue and Financing Policy which will be consulted on and included in the Long-term Plan 2021-31.

13 January 2021

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