Councillors discussed the proposed rates increase as part of Annual Budget discussions yesterday.
Council officers are proposing adjusting how rates are calculated to ensure increases are fair across all residential properties.
That’s because last year new property valuations were issued for Palmerston North. On average, residential land valuations increased by 68 per cent. For commercial properties there was a 30 per cent increase.
If we use the current method to calculate rates then some ratepayers who have lower value residential properties would pay rates higher than what the Council believes is reasonable, and rates for some other ratepayers would be unreasonably low.
Councillors are still to formally endorse these proposals at their meeting on 18 March and then there will be a period of public consultation.
During consultation, the public will likely be asked whether we should retain the present system for calculating rates or make some changes to make it fairer.
Those changes would likely include:
- reducing the uniform annual general charge from $690 to $500 for every property
- decreasing the surcharge that applies to multi-unit residential property
- reducing the extent of the discount given to rural and semi-serviced properties (to compensate for the reduced general charge)
- increasing the surcharge for non-residential properties from 150 per cent to 165 per cent.