Frequently asked questions
Rates help to pay for the costs of services and facilities provided to the Kāpiti community. For example:
Street lighting, waste water, storm water, solid waste, coastal management, roading, libraries, swimming pools, community halls, sports halls, cemeteries, public toilets, social housing, works depots, emergency operations centre, parks and open spaces, cycleways, walkways and bridleways, planning and development, dog registration, noise complaints and projects including the Paekakariki sea wall, Mahara Gallery and Waikanae library, Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centre and earthquake prone building assessments.
Rates pay for services and facilities that are either critical (i.e. wastewater management) or deemed beneficial to the community as a whole – often the things that make our district a more desirable place to live. We recognise not everyone will use every service or facility on offer, and where possible we look at other forms of revenue such as development contributions and ‘user pays’ – e.g. subsidised swimming pool entry fees.
In 2018/19 our property rates have increased by an average of 4.8% across the district to cover the cost of providing our services, facilities and new projects. In the coming year we need to carry out additional work resulting from new legislative changes and improve our community resilience in an environment impacted by recent earthquakes and severe weather events, while improving our ability to deliver on our economic development strategy.
The majority of the 2018/19 average rates increase is largely unavoidable, with the funding of depreciation and inflation accounting for 3.2% and inflation 1.5%. The council’s approach to depreciation in our current financial strategy ensures that we are putting money aside over the life of an asset so that we can replace it when it comes to the end of its useful life without providing the ratepayers of the future with a large bill.
Rate assessments for individual properties are driven by their land and capital value. Approximately 52% of rates are allocated on property value. This means higher valued properties will have higher rates.
While we have the fourth lowest total operating spending per ratepayer out of 67 councils, a high proportion of our costs is funded by rates.
We rely principally on rates to fund our services and maintain those services, and to cover the costs of inflation. Some of our costs – including the cost of infrastructure such as roads – are going up faster than household inflation.
In general these rates fund: public transport – trains and buses, river management and flood protection, possum and predator control, emergency management, environmental education and sustainability, land management, regional parks and forests.
We are aware some of our community has financial constraints. We have a rates remission policy for those whose rates exceed 5% of their household income. Applications can be made to Council from 1 October each year. Additionally, there is also a government rates rebate scheme for low income home owners.
Homeowners facing extreme hardship may get a reduction in their rates, or we can look at postponing payments. More information on rates remissions.
You can find out what your property valuation is or we can confirm the new valuation amount over the phone.