Akitio farmer Dan Ramsden says he feels like an Auckland ratepayer as he faces a 19 per cent increase in his rates.

"This is unacceptable to me," he said.

"As a large ratepayer I am being asked to pay for the damage done to the roads by logging trucks.

"There is a forest owner commodity levy of $0.27 a tonne, so why not a roading levy per tonne?


"Even Horizons Regional Council want 3.60 per cent for every $100,000 of capital value for river work and it's not fair," he said.

"Horizons tried 10 years ago to include Akitio in the Lower Manawatu River scheme and wool prices aren't any better than 10 years ago and cattle prices have come back and things aren't looking very positive for cattle."

Tararua District Council deputy mayor Allan Benbow said the reason for Ramsden's rating increase must be around property valuation, because the average rural rate was 3.01 per cent.

Ramsden agreed the value of his three blocks had risen.

"Your council must be awash with money," he said.

District councillor Jim Crispin said he heard what Ramsden was saying.

"There's an ongoing cost of logging and we, as a council, need to consider the implications," he said.

And while Neil Filer, president of Tararua Federated Farmers, thanked council for its fiscal management in respect to rates, he said he'd had "quite a few calls" from members who said their rates had increased by 20 per cent.

When asked by Benbow if he'd seen evidence of those rate increases, Filer said it was mainly sheep and beef farmers who were facing a 20 per cent increase.

"While we understand council is facing increasing pressure to provide more community services, we ask council to keep rate increases and spending to a minimum and look to maximise efficiencies where possible over the next few years," Filer said.

"Rates that increase at a greater rate than incomes, are not sustainable".

The system of local government rates sharing, based so heavily on property values, was broken, Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne said.

The Government has announced the Productivity Commission will investigate how councils can fund their activities most effectively and fairly, with its report due mid-2019.

"It gives farmers hope that a well-resourced organisation will be able to focus on the issues objectively, cut through the politics and give us a fair assessment," Milne said.

"Many councils are now reliant on property based rates for upwards of 60 per cent of their revenue.

"A bigger and bigger share of this burden is coming out of rural communities - not because rural folk are using more facilities, or because council services have in some way got better - but merely because of the investment in valuable land required to operate a farm, and council rating policies.

"Council people wave their hands in the air about expenditure pressures but our argument is that we don't have the right funding model to meet those pressures. Even the councils themselves are starting to acknowledge this."

One change Federated Farmers would like to see is lifting of the current 30 per cent cap on council revenue that is permitted to come from uniform charges, including charges that are targeted at those who use particular services.