Posts Tagged ‘Farming’

Angry Farmers

13 March 2010

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

It’s not only about commuters …

17 February 2010

In the projected upgrading of the road links into and around Christchurch, we need to remember that it’s not only about commuters.

Waimakariri’s farms and other businesses depend on good links to suppliers, distributors and markets.  The trucks have to have good access to the airport, Lyttelton and to areas such as Hornby.

Over such distances, freighting by rail is not an option.

If You are a Farmer, Why Have Your Rates Shot up?

7 August 2009

If you are running a farm – a conventional large farm – you have probably discovered a considerable jump in your rates.

The reason for this is that the Council has dramatically reduced the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC).  The result of this action has been to shift the rates burden away from low-land-value properties in the District to those with higher land values.

Part of the reason for this was to lessen the rates burden on small low-value urban properties, which were, in my view, paying disproportionately.

The problem is, however, the Council has not got the mix right.  It needed to reduce the UAGC, sure, but it also needed to move the rating to capital value rating.  This would have had a similar effect to lowering the UAGC, but instead of shifting the rating impact from low-value urban properties to high value rural properties, would have shifted the impact to high value residential properties and to high capital-value rural properties, mainly lifestyle blocks and the new dairy units.

In other words, the Council has got the rating mix wrong.

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