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Questions of rates: how and how much?

Questions of rates: how and how much?

April 5, 2006

Wired and wise North Shore City ratepayers can now go online to find out what their council is planning over the next decade – and give instant feedback by completing an electronic submission.

North Shore City Council has published the Draft City Plan 2006-2016 on www.northshorecity.govt.nz with comprehensive information ranging from infrastructural upgrading programmes and options for how to fund them.

Chairman of the council’s strategic management committee, Gary Holmes, is encouraging people to check out the website and have their say on the various alternatives before them.

“It’s important that our community takes part in an informed discussion on our 10-year plan and shares with us their views on how much they’re prepared to pay for the type of city they want to live and work in.

“This time round, we’re also asking people how they want to pay by putting forward options on the basis of the rating system itself,” Councillor Holmes says.

Like many local authorities around New Zealand, North Shore City is reviewing its rating policies as part of its long term council community plan, the document it more simply calls the City Plan.

Among the proposals developed for public consultation are options for smoothing out extremes in the rating system by levying rates differentially, and changing the rating base from land value to capital value.

The council last week sent every household and business in the city a newsletter summarising the Draft City Plan 2006-2016 and setting out five proposals for specific comment (http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz/your_council/

Gary Holmes says ratepayers in both rural and urban parts of the city should take a close look at Proposal 4, entitled Residential and rural rating.

“I would urge suburban homeowners not to ignore this proposal by dismissing it as too complex or even irrelevant. It affects everyone whatever their zoning so it’s important to understand the impact of the three options under consideration,” he says.

Proposal 5 – Basis of rating – sets out the pros and cons of sticking with the city council’s land value (LV) rating system or swapping to the capital value (CV) rating system favoured by the regional council (ARC).

“Rates currently provide about 60 per cent of our income and, as a revenue source, it will never be universally popular,”Councillor Holmes says.

“It’s now over to the community to let us know which system they prefer.”

People are invited to check out the rates calculator http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz/your_council/
that is a new feature of the City Plan webpage. It provides example rates for a property under the land value and capital value rating systems.

It is for residential 1 and business properties and is based on the (recently received) 2005 land and capital valuations. The rates shown by the calculator provide an estimate only of the impact on the property for each rating basis, and are based on the rates for 2005/06.

People are advised to:
- Select ‘Residential 1 property calculator’ or ‘Business property calculator’
- Enter the valuation figures from their most recent property valuation as provided by Quotable Value Limited dated September 2005
- Please note, this is not the valuation figure shown on the current rates assessment notice
- Business ratepayers should also enter the number of Uniform Annual General Charges, Sewerage and Refuse charges for the property concerned. This information can be obtained from their current rates assessment notice.


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