How will the latest revaluations affect rates?

Across the city property values have risen by an average 45 per cent since the last valuations in 2014. If the value of your home has risen by more than 45 per cent your rates will go up from July next year. If the value is less than 45 per cent, your rates will drop. The exercise helps council work out everyone's share of rates. Council does not collect any more money.

What about Mayor Phil Goff's promise to keep rate increases at 2.5 per cent?
In his first budget this year, Goff held overall rates increases at 2.5 per cent, but a number of factors means rates will vary next year.

What are those factors?
Goff is likely to set an overall rates increase of 2.5 per cent or thereabouts. He has also promised to get rid of an interim transport levy that put up rates by 4.4 per cent when it was introduced in 2015. The levy will almost certainly be replaced with a regional fuel tax of 10 cents a litre on petrol.

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What else is happening?
Goff has flagged a targeted rate to increase spending on improving water quality and there is talk of an environmental targeted rate.

How does that work?
It means a group of ratepayers - possible all ratepayers - will pay a targeted rate on top of general rates increases for the specific purpose of improving water quality or environmental projects.

But wait, there's more . . .
This year, Goff paused a policy of reducing the proportion of higher rates paid by business and gradually increasing residential rates. This was done so all ratepayers - residential and business - got the same 2.5 per cent rates increase. The reduction of the "business differential" will kick back in next year, leading to a small overall increase in residential rates.

It sounds complicated?
It is. Your rates bill from July next year will be affected by your new property valuation, the end of the interim transport levy, an overall general rates increase, one or more targeted rates and a reduction in the business differential. You will also pay more for petrol.