Angry Farmers

On Thursday evening, I attended the latter part of a meeting called by Federated Farmers to discuss rating in the Waimakariri District.

Amongst their complaints are the high level of rates they are having to pay, when compared with others in the District.  They point out that they are getting the same levels of service as their small-holding neighbours but paying vastly more in rates – in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars per year.

There is no doubt that there is something wrong with the rating structure in this District.

The paradox is that large rural properties are paying too much but so are the lowest-value urban properties – where ratepayers sometimes make invidious comparisons between Waimakariri and Christchurch.

One part of the answer is to shift to Capital Value Rating, which is what most New Zealand ratepayers experience.  All Councils in Canterbury are on capital value except Waimakariri and Timaru.  Obviously, those on capital value include ECan and our three neighbours, Hurunui, Selwyn and Christchurch.  In the period immediately before the 1989 Local Government reorganisation, of our predecessor authorities, both Oxford and Hurunui Counties were on capital value rating.

For an earlier comment see

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