Posts Tagged ‘LTCCP (10 Year Plan)’

Valuations and Rates

14 July 2010

This morning’s Press has the headline on the property page “Property Valuations May Decline.” It is referring to a Christchurch revaluation that is occurring this year.  Waimakariri’s next valuation is due in 2011.

Does this mean that rates wil also decline? 

Not necessarily.  If your property’s valuation goes down, the rates will only go down if your decline is greater than the average decline across the District. 

If your valuation decline is less than the average, your rates will actually increase, all other things being equal.

If your valuation goes down at the same rate as the District average, your rates will stay the same – again all other things being equal.

My proviso about all other things being equal relates to the fact that other things can change too, e.g. the mix of uniform charges vs rates in the dollar, what ECan does to their rates, the total amount the District Council decides to take or a change in the basis of rating from land value to capital value.

Attempt to Change Uniform Annual General Charge Fails

14 May 2010

The Council is currently making its decsions on the 2010-2011 Annual Plan and Budget.

It had already received strong submissions from the farming community requesting that the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) be restored from its current $20 to its former $70.  It went down to $20 only last year.

The UAGC is a charge that all properties pay in their rates.  Raising it has the effect of lowering the general rates for high-value properties and raising them for low-value properties.  This sounds like it is unfair on low-value, usuaully urban, properties, but it needs to be remembered that general rates form a much smaller proportion of total rates for urban properties than they do for rural.  A lot of urban rates are for water, sewer, rubbish collection, etc, which rural properties don’t pay (they pay for their own water, etc).

Lowering the UAGC last year meant that many farms had rate rises in the thousands of dollars for no change in service.  Farmers are saying that this is unfair.

Yesterday an attempt to put the uniform charge back to $70 failed by one vote.  Five voted for (Crs Dan Gordon, Kevin Felstead, Peter Farrant, Elaine Cole and myself) and five against.  In the council’s standing orders, a draw means the motion is lost.  The mayor (who opposed) doesn’t have a casting vote.

My personal view is that the rating structure of this district needs a thorough review.  Rates are not a particularly fair way of taxing people, but ours can be more fairly distributed than they are.

The People Speak

28 April 2010

For the past day and a half the Council have been listening to submissions on the this year’s Draft Annual Plan – and we have another session tomorrow.

So far the following trends have emerged:

  • Strong farmer opposition to the low Annual Uniform General Charge and to Land Value as a means of assessing rates.  They support a change to Capital Value Rating.
  • Support from a wide range of individuals and groups for retaining the budget provision of $30,000 to support the new Youth Development Strategy.
  • A strong push from Woodend to upgrade the Community Centre and its surrounding reserve – and the public toilets over the road.
  • A loud-and-clear objection from Rangiora Airfield users about a new range of charges – and a similar complaint about new fees at the Kaiapoi Wharf.
  • And, of course, complaints about the 5km-radius targetted rating zone for the Dudley Park Aquatic Centre.

That’s by no means all, but that gives you an idea!

Council Sets Proposed Rates: “Average Rise of 3.5%” means 0.6% for Kaiapoi and 7.5% for Rangiora

9 February 2010

The Council today put its Annual Plan out for consultation.  Watch the news media for when it is available and when submissions close.

You will be told that there is an average rise of 3.5% and this represents a cut in the rate rise from the 6.2% signalled last year in the Ten Year Long Term Plan.  But hang on, this is the same Council that proposed the 6.2%.

The reason for the rise in some areas’ rates are varied.  In Rangiora’s case, it is mainly the cost of the upgraded water scheme that is the cause of it.  Of course, putting a targeted rate on the 5km zone around Dudley Aquatic Centre hasn’t helped the Rangiora ratepayer one bit.

The water scheme is necessary and what is being done is  the best option.  Who I have issue with are those who campaigned at the last election saying that they were going to make rates “affordable” – even although they were told that the water scheme was essential and that the District needed a new pool.

And for the record, I’m not just drawing attention to Rangiora.  “Average 3.5%” means 9.3% in Oxford, 8.8% in Ashley-Sefton, 5.7% in Fernside, and 10% in Summerhill.  In Oxford and Summerhill, new water schemes are the main reason – also signalled before the last election.

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.

5km Rating Zone Goes Through

12 June 2009

The Council yesterday confirmed its 10 Year Plan and the rates for the coming year, over the votes of Robbie Brine and me.

So sorry – even if you  live inside the 5km and are further away from Dudley Park than some people who are outside it, you are going to be rated more then others in the District.

And if you will never go for a swim and are inside the 5km radius, but are nevertheles prepared to pay your fair share for the new Aquatic Centre, you are going to be rated more than your fair share.

This is the final word – until next year’s Annual Plan, or until after the next election.

How Canterbury Councils Base Their Rates – Capital-Value or Land-Value

22 May 2009
Capital Value 

Environment Canterbury








Land Value 



Funding for Performance Venue(s) Stays In

18 May 2009

The $5m (including $1m public fundraising) for a performance venue or venues has stayed in the Council’s 10-Year Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) for 2013-14.

An additional amount of $50,000 for investigative work in the coming year has been substanially reduced because it was felt by a majority of councillors (and by many submitters) that much of this work has already been done in prevuous investigations.

Rangiora Town Hall

There is a strong expectation within the community that a significant amount needs to be spent on upgrading and enhancing the Rangiora Town Hall.  One of two Town Halls in the District (the other is Oxford’s – see Corners of Waimakariri in the Categories to the right), there is a lot of affection for the old lady and it is without doubt the most important performance venue that we currently have.

She is worth fighting for!

The 5km Rating Circle Stays In

15 May 2009

Despite strong public opposition, the new Dudley Park Pool will have a 5km as-the-crow-flies rating circle placed around it.  Within the circle, all households will pay a fixed charge to make up any shortfall in the $3m target the Council has set the fundraising groups.

It should be noted that the target came from the Council, not the fundraisers.

Some of the issues around this rating area can be found by clicking the Dudley Park Aquatic Centre file at the right of this page.

Some councillors fought very hard – it took most of a morning to get it passed and in the end it passed by 6 votes to 5.  Those who voted for the rating area were Mayor Ron Keating and Councillors Sandra Stewart, Elaine Cole, Peter Farrant, Neville Atkinson and Roger Blair.  Those who voted against it were Councillors Robbie Brine, Dan Gordon, Kevin Felstead, Neil Cruickshank and me.

It was noteworthy that prior to this decision, all three of the Council’s Ward Advisory Boards (Rangiora, Oxford-Eyre and Woodend-Ashley) voted in favour of a Districy-wide rate.  Unfortunately, enough councillors took more notice of the Kaiapoi Community Board.

Later, I attempted to get a discounted entry to the Aquatic Centre for those people living within the 5km area.  This failed too – by 7 to 4, with me, Robbie Brine, Kevin Felstead and Dan Gordon voting for it.

Controversial Water Scheme Finally Meets Approval

15 May 2009

Water supply in the Summerhill, Cust and West Eyreton has for some time been a subject of public debate.  After considerable consultation, the Council has finally made provision in its 10 Year Plan (LTCCP) for all three areas.

Summerhill and West Eyreton will share share their supply, using West Eyreton as the source.

Cust Township will remain separate from the other two, but the Springbank No 2 well be bought for emergency or future use.


25 March 2009

The reason this blog has been silent is that we have been out of the country – in Malaysia (for a family wedding), Cambodia and Vietnam.  Travelling in those countries is more of an adventure than a holiday, but I think I’ve recovered!

A reminder: tomorrow (Friday 26 March) is the last day for submissions to the Council’s Ten-year Plan.

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