Rates and rating values

Find out about our rating system and how to understand your rating value.

Check the latest value for your property

We're proposing changes to the way we calculate rates

We've been reviewing our rating system and whether we need to change the way we calculate rates. Now we'd like to hear from you.

We've got 3 options for you to choose from:

  • a hybrid option with the majority of general rates being based on land value and the remainder on capital value (around a 70/30 split)
  • capital value
  • maintain the present system (LV).

We encourage you to read more about what we're proposing, including the pros and cons of each option, use our search tool to see what each option means for your property, then have your say. Click on the link to find out more.

Rates review

Rates for 2023-24

Council adopted the rates at its meeting on 14 June 2023. The property values issued in 2021 were used to assess the rates for the rating year. We are currently consulting on our long-term plan, which sets the rates for 2024-25, and the direction for the next decade. 

Rates Resolution(PDF, 432KB)

Understanding your rating value

Rating values and their effect on the rates you pay is a common topic of interest. How rating values are calculated and their impact on rates is a complex process which differs between councils. The rating valuation process used in New Zealand is an efficient method of determining many property values for allocating rates.

What is a rating value?

A rating value is assigned to every property in New Zealand, and is made up of:

  • Capital value: the likely price a property would sell for at the time of the revaluation. The capital value does not include chattels.
  • Land value: the likely price the land would sell for at the time of the revaluation.
  • The value of improvements: the difference between the capital value and land value, reflecting the value which buildings and improvements add to the bare land.

Who determines your rating value?

Palmerston North City Council contracts Quotable Value (QV) for valuation services.


How are rating values calculated?

Rating values are calculated using a complex process called mass-appraisal. Valuers consider all relevant property sales which occurred in an area around the date of the latest valuation. A market trend is established and applied to similar properties in the area.

Several assessments of individual properties are completed every year because of issued building consents, subdivisions, sales inspections, objections and ratepayers' requests to update their rating value. These individual assessments supplement the mass-appraisal process.

The process of calculating rating values is independently audited by the Office of the Valuer General. Strict quality standards must be met before a revaluation is confirmed.

When are rating values calculated?

An important aspect of a rating value is its effective date, which is the date of the citywide revaluation.

The rating value of a property depicts its value at the effective date, and it's updated every three years.

The effective date of the latest Palmerston North revaluation is 1 September 2021.


If you don't look inside my house, how do you know what it is worth?

QV uses the details it stores on every property. When rating values are calculated, a market trend is established from similar properties which have recently sold and applied to the properties in the group.

Similar properties have similar attributes, like land and floor area, building age, and the property condition and location.

Properties are inspected throughout the year to make sure their details are updated where changes have occurred (as notified on a building consent).

How can my house have a rating value if it wasn't built at the time of valuation?

Houses that have been newly built or renovated since the last valuation receive an updated rating value that reflects what it would have been worth if it existed at the effective date.

As rating values are used to apportion rates for up to three years, this keeps all property values comparable, enabling Council to allocate rates accordingly.


Why is the change in my rating value different from the changes in property values I hear in the media?

The different numbers are explained by different time periods being reported on.

We revalue our properties every three years. Any change in rating value is compared with the last revaluation, three years ago, whereas most media coverage refers to changes in property values over the last 12 months.


If my property value increases, will my rates go up?

Not necessarily. Your rating value is expressed as a share of the total value of all properties in the city so we can apportion the rates.

If all rating values increase by the same percentage, your share remains the same, and so do your rates. Of course, this is assuming that the city's expenditure stays the same.

For the 2021 revaluation the increase in land values varied throughout the city. Also, residential land values increased by a larger percentage than commercial or rural land values.

If Council expenditure rises, your rates could rise irrespective of changes to your rating value, because the cost is apportioned across the city.

What is the difference between a rating value and a current market valuation?

Rating values exist to apportion rates and are determined at the effective date for each Council.

Market valuations can be independently acquired at any time. They involve an extensive interior and exterior inspection as well as an assessment of comparable sales to accurately depict an individual property value in a comprehensive report.

The valuer will use their expertise and analyse recent sales data to arrive at a figure which is current at the date they issue the report.