Have a read through some frequently asked questions about rates. If your question is still not answered, give our Customer Services team on 07 571 8008.
You can view a visual pull out explanation of your rates invoice (PDF, 5.12MB) here.
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.
It comes down to growth and geography.
The Western Bay is one of a relatively small number of NZ Councils that experienced significant population growth in recent years. To service the growth we invested in infrastructure to meet our residents' needs.
To fund this investment Council has taken on significant debt over the past 15 years. This will be repaid over time by those who benefit from the infrastructure. The good news is we have created capacity that will serve our District well into the future.
Geography plays its part due to the Western Bay being a large, mainly rural and thinly populated District. Providing infrastructure is more difficult and expensive in rural over urban areas. For example, we have five wastewater plants to Tauranga city's two. We're also maintaining a complex roading network and have a number of significant stormwater improvements planned to reduce the risk of properties flooding.
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.
The solid waste rate is charged per property. It contributes to the cost of operating solid waste facilities across the entire District - including recycling centres and ongoing work at closed tip sites to ensure the environment is protected.
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.
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.
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.