A builder who put 15 months of work and $100,000 into his St Johns property was dismayed to find the council rating valuation or RV value had dropped.
Art Cherry says he'd like to sell his property but says his RV valuation puts his house far below its market value.
"I come to Whanganui 18 months ago when the market was flat as flat could be, I bought this place and it was a complete reno inside and out and I've pumped a lot of money... putting this house to where it should be."
"Subsequently when my RV came in I thought what the hell I've gone down $45,000."
His property RV had dropped from $285,000 in 2013 to $240,000 in 2016.
He says this doesn't make sense, he's seen Whanganui go through a resurgence since he moved here 18 months ago.
"Whanganui's coming back, its climbing, business is coming back, so many new people in town, great place to live."
He's talked to real estate agents and been told his property is currently worth at least $375,000.
The rateable vaule or RV is the vaule set by local government for the purposes of determining rates. The RV estimation is conducted by an organisation named Quotable Vaule Limit or QV, on behalf of local government.
He says as a seller such a low RV makes things a bit difficult.
"People have asked, your RV is this why are you asking for this?"
There is a complaints process to have your property reassessed, he's been through it in the past.
"I've dealt with them before in the Horowhenua, they undervalued my property by $200,000. The valuer came round and I spent two hours with him, and presented my case, then my property raised it $200,000."
He says he will go through the same process again this time, but he expects an assessor won't come out until July.
"Because they don't have the staff."
He says decades ago a home seller wouldn't have this problem.
"In the old days they'd have teams of guys hitting a city and they'd spend weeks and weeks there, measuring every property. What we've got now with RV is they work on figures and statistics, they punch it into the computer and they get averages like that."
"In my view it should be the real estate industry who should be approached, because their information is ongoing and its accurate at the time."
Castlecliff property owner Ian Jones says RV values also do not reflect changes in the market place.
"Castlecliff is having a resurgence at the moment and RV seem oblivious to it."
He says his latest valuation puts one of his properties at $111,000 but he was told the market value is $180,000.
Real estate agent Rob Bennett says there are many factors that make up the market value of a property that simply cannot be assessed without physically inspecting the property.
"They don't come out and actually inspect the houses to do the valuation, if I was to do the same thing there's a lot of information I can't gather."
Although some may say that a low RV means low rates, he says the majority of rates fees are actually calculated off land value.
"My understanding the rates actually go off the land value not the capital value."
"There is a certain portion of it that goes off the [RV]... but its pretty marginal."
RV could not be contacted for comment due to the holiday period.
The Chronicle is unable to confirm what proportion of rates fees are based of land value.