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Land Value Rates In Queenstown-Lakes

New analysis from rates advocacy group Common Ground Aotearoa shows that the average Queenstown-Lakes household would be significantly better off under Land Value Rates (LVR). The proposed system, under which rates would be levied solely based on a property’s land value, would encourage more housing supply, as well as resulting in a more equitable allocation of rates.


Upon moving from the current system, based on capital value, to Land Value Rates:

  • The median residential property would see a 28.6% decrease in rates, with no loss to council revenue
  • Owners of residential property worth less than $1M would see a median rates decrease of 45.1%
  • The median vacant property would get a rates increase of 20.9%, encouraging empty land to be put to use.

The analysis further identifies $5 billion of empty or under-used land in the Queenstown-Lakes District.


Cody Tucker, Queenstown-Lakes District Councillor:

“Our district is facing unusually high and compounding interest rate hikes for some years ahead and we will still struggle to deliver the much needed social infrastructure our communities deserve.

We have to be agile and think differently if we are to address this problem sincerely. Land Value Rates could be a key part in distributing the burden more equitably and help address some systemic issues.”

Jesse Richardson, Researcher at Common Ground Aotearoa: “Land Value Rates will encourage productive use of land in town centres, resulting in more foot traffic for businesses and a more vibrant space for everyone. What we know from numerous examples of this policy being implemented is that it will reduce the rates burden on homeowners and businesses and organically grow the local economy. In a nutshell, LVR is about investing in the Queenstown-Lakes region.”

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Geordie Rogers, President of Renters United: “In the middle of a housing crisis we need to be building houses, not keeping empty lots. Land shouldn’t be used to build wealth, it should be used to house thriving communities. LVR shifts our framing of land away from profit to people. Renters, families and our wider community will benefit from that.”

Professor Arthur Grimes, VUW School of Government

: “A switch from a capital value base to a land value base for rates enhances both efficiency and equity. It is clear that councils should adopt land value as the basis for their rates.

© Scoop Media

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