Councillors review how rates are shared across Kāpiti
As part of the Council’s development of a draft 20-year plan, councillors need to review the way that rates are shared across the district’s approximately 25,000 ratepayers. This task continued at this afternoon’s long term plan workshop.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the three-yearly review is a chance to consider whether the way we allocate rates among our ratepayers now will be suitable in the coming years.
“It’s worth being clear that this review isn’t about the total amount of rates we collect across the district – we’re working through a raft of other choices that will affect that in our other long term plan workshops.
“This is about how we share the cost of the total rates we need to collect among our ratepayers.
“More than three quarters of the money we need to fund services and facilities comes from rates. This financial year rates amounted to almost $80 million, including Greater Wellington Regional Council rates.
“We want the Council’s rating system to be equitable and affordable for our ratepayers. We’ve heard concerns about the affordability of rates, and know that some people struggle to afford their rates alongside all their other household expenses.
“In Kāpiti, fixed charges make up about half of the rates we collect. This means that owners of lower-value homes can end up facing rates bills that aren’t a lot less than owners of much higher-value properties.
“This is something we’ve been considering along with how we might go about softening the impact of the latest property revaluations, where residential values rose at a steeper pace than commercial or rural properties.
“It’s a complex business, and with each possibility we look at we’re mindful of the impacts any change could have on different areas of our district as well as different property types.”
Any proposed changes to the rating system will be shared with the public alongside the rest of the draft long term plan in late March. Feedback from the community will be invited and considered by councillors before the plan is finalised in late June.
“I’d also like to remind people about the relief that’s available from government and the Council for many low-income ratepayers, and encourage people to make full use of this support,” says the Mayor.
Information on rates rebates and remissions is available at kapiticoast.govt.nz or call the Council on 0800 486 486 to find out more.
The next Council long term plan workshop is on 8 February. At this workshop councillors will be considering operating and capital budgets and the Council’s revenue and financing policy. The public are welcome to observe these presentations and discussions.
1 Feb 2018