Rating & Valuations

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Understanding rates

Local councils are tasked with carrying out a range of activities for its community.  These activities include supplying drinking water, roads, sewage disposal, and regulatory functions such as issuing building consents, to providing community facilities like libraries and museums. 

The main source of funds available to councils to fund these activities are rates (other sources of funding include grants, user fees, investment income, and development contributions).

Rates are levied as a tax on property in compliance with the statutory provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. The following information explains the systems used in Whanganui to calculate rates, the effect that property valuations have on those systems and how rates are set and allocated to individual properties.

More specific information can be found in our Long-Term Plans and Annual Plans.

How rates are set

The quantum of rates to be collected each year is set through the long-term plan or annual plan.  The long-term plan is set every three years, with an annual plan being set in the intervening years.  These plans set the Council's work programme for each of the activities it delivers for the year (e.g. roading programme, stormwater programme etc), the cost of delivering that work programme and how this cost will be funded, including the quantum of rates it plans to collect for the year.  The Council undertakes public consultation with the community prior to adopting these plans.

How your rates are calculated

Once the total quantum of rates for each activity of the Council is set, these rates will then be charged to individual properties.  The basis of charging rates differs from one activity to another. However, they are usually based on either the property's land value, capital value or a fixed charge applied to each separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP).

The Rating Information Database also provides a draft calculation of 2019/2020 rates. Rates for 2019/2020 will be finalised in July 2019 after the 2019-20 Annual Plan has been adopted by the Council.

What is a SUIP (separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit) 

In non-technical terms a SUIP is part of a property that can be used as a home or a place of business.  Most properties are only one SUIP as they are solely used for either residential or business purposes.  When homes or commercial buildings can be used separately by several users (e.g. couples, families or businesses) through e.g. a tenancy, lease or licence, or any other agreement, then you have a case of multiple SUIPs.  For a legal definition of a SUIP refer to Council's Funding Impact Statement contained in the latest Long-Term Plan or Annual Plan.     

Differential rating system

Differentials are used to allocate costs between different groups or categories of properties based on the broad level of service and benefit they receive.  The higher the differential, the greater the perceived level of service and benefit those groups of properties receive.   

Whanganui has three categories of properties – residential, commercial, and farming.

Types of rates

Whanganui has various types of rates which it uses to fund different activities.  As a general rule of thumb, if a service it provides benefits the entire community, then it will be funded from general rates.  However, if the service only benefits a specific group of ratepayers, then it will be funded from a targeted rate. 

Whanganui's rates can be broken down into three main categories – Uniform annual general charge, general rate and targeted rates.

Uniform annual general charge (UAGC)

This is a fixed charge applied to each SUIP of a property, irrespective of the value of a property.  It's used to pay for general council services.  The purpose of a UAGC is to ensure that all property owners or ratepayers provide a minimum contribution to fund services that benefit Whanganui.

General rate

This variable rate is charged on the land value of a property.  General rates are paid by all ratepayers and they pay for the services provided by the Council that are not funded through a targeted rate.

Both the UAGC and the general rate are used to fund services such as:

  • Libraries, museums and galleries
  • Animal management
  • Parks and recreation
  • Cemeteries
  • Port and river

Targeted rates

Targeted rates are paid by a specific group of ratepayers who receive a specific service.  For example, only those connected to the Council's wastewater system will be charged rates for maintaining the wastewater system. 

The targeted rates apply to: 

  • Water supply
  • Stormwater drainage
  • Waterways and natural drainage
  • Wastewater
  • Roads
  • Earthquake strengthening
  • Central Business District services

How property values effect rates

As a number of our rates are based on a property's value (land or capital value), when a property's value changes, it can impact on the share of total rates the property pays.

Generally speaking:

  • If your property value increases by about the average amount, you'll have an average rates increase.
  • If your property value increases more than the average, you'll have a greater-than-average rates increase.
  • If your property value increases by less than the average, you'll have a lower-than-average rates increase.

Rates for 2018​​​​/19

​Rates are payable in four equal instalments on the following due dates:

​​Instalment 1​Wednesday, 29 August 2018
​Instalment 2​Wednesday, 28 November 2018
​Instalment 3​Wednesday, 27 February 2019
​Instalment 4​Wednesday, 29 May 2019​

A discount of 2.5% will be allowed on all net 2018/19 rates paid in full by 29 August 2018.​

​Payment options

Direct credit, automatic payment, 
telephone ban​​​​king and Internet banki​​​ng 
Our bank account is ANZ Wanganui: 01 0790 0157888 02
Please enter your name, property number and "Rates" as the reference.​

Online cre​dit card payme​​​​nts​
You can use your credit card to pay your rates online. You will need your email address as well as your property and notice numbers, which can be found on your rates invoice, and credit card details. Online payments can be made here

Direct de​b​​​​its
We can set up direct debits on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
You can set this up on our website or contact our Rates team for further information, phone (06) 349 0001 or email wdc@whanganui.govt.nz.

Regional Council rat​​es

Horizons Regional Council rates are billed and paid for separately, and are not connected to Whanganui District Council rates. Horizons’ Rates Department can be reached on phone 0508 800 800.

Rate​​s Rebate Scheme

The government's Rates Rebate Scheme provides a rebate of up to $630 for low income earners.​ Find out if you're eligible and how to apply.

Receive your rates notice v​ia email

You can opt to receive your rates notice via email instead of in the post. More information and an application form are available on this page.​​

Page reviewed: 13 May 2019 3:15pm