Rotorua Lakes Council is owed millions of dollars in unpaid rates.
Information released to the Rotorua Daily Post under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act showed that for the rating year ending June 30, 2018 there was a total of $2,410,142 owing in unpaid rates and to date, there is $5,167,878 outstanding.
As of July 5, there were 2267 properties in rates arrears but the council said this was constantly changing.
"With rates constantly being repaid and new instalments due, this figure varies."
Of the properties in rates arrears, the most owed on a single property was a little more than $94,000. This dated back to July 2012.
When rates were overdue the council attempted to contact the ratepayer to arrange payments.
"Failing this the rates team progressively work through other options such as mortgagee demand or engaging a debt collection company," the response said.
"If nothing can be achieved going through the above processes the final option is to go through court proceedings for a rating sale."
The council could not say how many owners it had taken action against as repayments were constantly being made.
These figures come about a month after the council set the rates for the 2018/2019 year stating the average increase would be 5.7 per cent.
But in a post on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page some residents have reported larger increases.
Commenters said their rates had gone up by between 10 and 14 per cent.
"Gone up about 11 per cent for us. But our house value has gone up," one resident said.
The rates at tenant Zahide Aydin's rental property had risen 14.6 per cent and she was worried how the rates increases would trickle down to tenants.
"The rent price for the tenants will change.
"How will it be possible to pay the rent? It goes up but where will the money come from?
"My income doesn't change."
The council's chief financial officer Thomas Collé said the council was conscious of affordability and tried to spread the rates increase as evenly as possible. However, it was difficult to compare rates in Rotorua with those in other cities.
"You have to compare like with like, medians with medians. A $1 million home in Auckland is mid-value there, whereas a $1m home in Rotorua is high range," he said.
"If you make a comparison that way, Rotorua is middle of the pack in terms of its rates increase."
Collé said there were also differences in how councils charged for services. Some did not include water supply charges in their rates, charging separately for those.
Revaluations coming into effect in Rotorua this year also affected rates, he said.
Properties which had a significant increase in capital value would generally face a bigger rates increase than one with a lesser increase, he said.
"There is an average rates increase but many properties will be on either side of that.
"The majority of increases fall close to the average but there are always outliers and some properties will have a decrease in rates."
Unpaid rates for rating years ending June 30
- 2018: $2,410,142
- 2017: $2,251,961
- 2016: $2,363,065
- 2015: $2,449,299
- 2014: $2,376,171
- 2013: $2,684,569
What rates cover
- Sewerage and sewage: 15 per cent
- Sport, recreation and environment: 15 per cent
- Arts and culture: 13 per cent
- Roading and footpaths: 11 per cent
- District development: 10 per cent
- Water supplies: 10 per cent
- Community leadership: 9 per cent
- Waste management: 8 per cent
- Stormwater and drainage: 6 per cent
- Planning and regulatory: 3 per cent