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).
What is a SUIP (separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit)
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.
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.
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.
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
- Port and river
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
- 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.
- 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 2019/20
Rates are payable in four equal instalments on the following due dates:
|Instalment 1||Wednesday, 28 August 2019|
|Instalment 2||Wednesday, 27 November 2019|
|Instalment 3||Wednesday, 26 February 2020|
|Instalment 4||Wednesday, 27 May 2020|
Regional Council rates
Rates Rebate Scheme
Receive your rates notice via email