FAQs: Rates and invoices


​Why are rates bills so complicated?

We understand your rates invoice can be difficult to navigate, however everything on it is required under law - specifically the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. You can view a visual pull out explanation of your rates invoice (PDF, 5.12MB) here. 

Why do rates vary for different ratepayers?

There are three main types of rates: a general rate based on the capital value of your property; roading rates based on land value to cover the cost of building and maintaining roads; and targeted rates for services and facilities that benefit particular groups of residents.

How you are rated varies depending on where you live, what services you can access and the value of your property. Council does not determine the land valuations. They are carried out by an independent valuation company and approved by the Office of the Valuer General. Council then applies this information to set its rates.

What is the rating year and why is it split into two instalments?

The rating year is from 1 July to 30 June. It's split into two instalments to help spread the cost over the year. You can opt to spread this cost further by paying your rates monthly via direct debit.

Why do I have to pay a rate for solid waste?

The solid waste rate is charged per property. It contributes to the cost of operating solid waste facilities across the entire District - including transfer stations and ongoing work at closed tip sites to ensure the environment is protected.

Why am I paying both a roading rate and rural roading rate?

Roading accounts for 21% of all rates. Geography plays a big part in this, due to the Western Bay being a large, mainly rural and thinly populated District - with 1056km of local roads.

Every property owner pays a roading rate (based on land value) and a set roading charge. Rural property owners also pay a 'rural works' rate used to fund roading projects in rural areas.

Why am I paying a water rate when I am on metered water?

The water component of your rates invoice helps with maintenance of the District's water treatment plants, pumping stations, and pipes. The 'per cubic metre' rate helps fund the delivery of safe, clean drinking water.

Why do I pay for libraries and community halls?

Libraries and community halls are valued services available to, and of benefit to, the whole community. For this reason,  the cost is spread across all properties.

Why are the penalties so high?

When rates are paid late, or not at all, Council must borrow money to pay for its staff costs - creating additional interest costs for ratepayers. The 10 per cent penalty rate encourages people to pay on time. Penalties are set by Council in accordance with sections 57 and 58 of the Local Government Rating Act and make up less than one per cent of Council's total revenue.

Page reviewed: 15 Apr 2019 10:34am