The Whanganui District Council spent $26,500 removing graffiti last financial year.
Council legal officer Paul Drake said the council received 622 graffiti complaints last financial year, markedly up on 488 the previous year.
In the current financial year to the beginning of May, it had received 394 graffiti complaints.
About half of all graffiti was thought to be on council property, particularly at public toilets and at the premier parks.
Mr Drake said the $26,500 the council spent removing graffiti last financial year included council overheads.
The costs associated with tagging included expensive graffiti removal products, paint, brushes and rollers.
The council had purchased a designated trailer and water blaster for graffiti removal - and worked to match paint colours when repainting council owned buildings.
For private properties, it had a limited selection of reasonably priced Resene paint colours. Resene also provided a standard paint-out colour for free.
Mr Drake said graffiti clean-up work was undertaken by council's community projects team, although trade painters were brought in for some specific areas or for work required during the weekends.
"If the graffiti is urgent or offensive, it requires the employees to leave their current job to attend to the graffiti and this can be very disruptive."
Mr Drake said incidents of graffiti spiked during school holidays.
Auckland Council has reduced graffiti through eradication, enforcement and education, and is sharing its secrets with other councils.
Senior advisor graffiti vandalism prevention Rob Shields said four service providers delivered graffiti vandalism prevention and removal services to the council.
They include Tag Out Trust, which tackled graffiti through removal, youth education and community volunteer support.
Mr Shields said each provider delivered eradication, enforcement and education under an overall umbrella of prevention.
There had been a 23 per cent reduction in graffiti vandalism incidents across Auckland since the introduction of services in 2013.
Auckland Council and its graffiti vandalism prevention service providers were sharing information with other councils, said Mr Shields.