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ARC rating policy up for comment

ARC rating policy up for comment

Regional ratepayers are being asked for their opinion on how their rates should be spread across the region.

The ARC Draft Regional Community Plan, Your Region, Your Future, sets out a proposed rating method together with three variations.

Current rating policy

The ARC general rate and targeted transport rates are based on capital value of properties. The biosecurity rate, which is for plant and animal pest control work, is based on land value. Approximately 12% of transport rates are included in the general rate, which is paid by all ratepayers.

The targeted transport rate is split into two parts, and is only charged to those properties within the Passenger Transport Rateable Area (PTRA). The Passenger Transport Network Rate, which covers the general costs of running the regional public transport network, is spread evenly across all properties within the PTRA. The Passenger Transport Services Rate is divided between the seven local council areas based on the relative proportion of passenger trips made on public transport that start or finish within each area.

Proposed rating method – same as last year

The Draft Regional Community Plan proposes to divide the total transport rate among the seven local council areas in the same way as last year. The general rate and biosecurity rate will also be based on the current policy.

In addition, some small changes are proposed to the PTRA based on feedback from the community. A map is available showing the revised PTRA.

The Draft Plan indicated an average 3.2% increase for every ratepayer, however Papakura and Franklin ratepayers may have a rates increase above the average increase due to recent property re-valuations that have occurred in these districts.

Variation One

This variation is the same as the proposed rating method, but introduces a new 1.5 times differential to business properties only. Under this option, most residential ratepayers would have a decrease in rates of around 3%-7%, while business ratepayers would have an increase of around 48%.

Variation Two

This variation is the same as the proposed method for the general and biosecurity rates but, in line with community feedback received late last year, includes a new rating model for spreading transport rates. Under variation two, 20% of transport costs would be included in the general rate and spread across the whole region to reflect the regional benefits of public transport. The remaining 80% would be spread across four rating areas and would include differentials related to the different levels of public transport in each area. The four areas are:

Inner urban: 1.25 differential

Metropolitan: 1.0 differential

Settlements: 0.5 differential

Rural: pay no targeted transport rate

A map is available indicating the proposed four levels. Under variation two, the boundaries would be reviewed every three years to incorporate changes to public transport services.

Under this variation, almost all ratepayers would have either a decrease or increase over 3.2%. Waiheke Island and Waiuku ratepayers would have a significant increase, as they would be paying targeted transport rates for the first time.

Properties paying the targeted transport rate for the first time could have that rate phased over three years to help reduce large rates increases.

Variation Three

This is the same as variation two, but also includes a 1.5 times business property differential. Most residential ratepayers would pay less, with decreases of up to 34.7%. Almost all business ratepayers would have increases of up to 63.7%.

As with variation two, properties paying targeted transport rates for the first time could have that rate phased over three years to help reduce large rates increases.

Estimating rates

The ARC rates estimator, which allows people to estimate what their rates would be under the proposed method and three variations, is available on www.arc.govt.nz. The estimator is an approximation only, and final rates bills may differ slightly from that indicated.

This year ARC is making it easier for everyone to give their point of view. By logging on to www.getinvolved.co.nz, people can complete a quick on-line survey and let us know how they want the rates spread and if they support a $10 flat charge for buying new parkland. People can also do the survey over the phone, through 968 3254, or for those outside the local Auckland calling area, call tollfree 0508 968 7729 (0508 YOURSAY).

This survey is also included in ARC’s newspaper, RegionWide, which will be inserted in local papers during the week of 5 April.

The maps, draft plan and summary are available on the ARC website, http://www.arc.govt.nz/arc/about-arc/regional-community-plan/draft-regional-community-plan-2004-14-downloads-and-information.cfm

and printable versions of the maps are avaiable from Jo Mackay.

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