Carterton District Council [CDC] will be asked to scrap a proposed change to the rural rating structure.
The decision follows opposition to the move, including from Federated Farmers New Zealand.
The council’s hearings committee decided to make a range of recommendations on the structure of the district’s rates. A recommendation to adjust the rural differential for the general rate, up from 0.8 to 1, was voted down by the committee and will not form part of the recommended changes. Those against the proposal, including Federated Farmers, said rural ratepayers don’t use many services.
Elizabeth McGruddy from Federated Farmers made written and in-person submissions.
“A farming family may pay double or quadruple the amount of general rates for the exact same services enjoyed by an urban family, simply by virtue of higher CV [capital valuation].”
“A farm asset – including land and fences, livestock and trees etc – does not use the parks and reserves, nor cycleways and trails.
“Even with the current 0.8 rural differential, it is apparent that rural households are paying disproportionately more than urban households for the exact same public good services,” she said.
A report tabled said it was appropriate for the rural sector to pay the same rate in the dollar of general rate as residential properties.
“The activities covered by the general rate are available to all of the community and council considers it is more appropriate that the rural sector have the same differential as the residential sector,” it said.
The deliberations followed hearings where 15 people asked to speak. In all, 90 written submissions were received. The consultation included public meetings in Gladstone and in Carterton.
Other proposals included charging all dwellings on a property the universal annual general charge rather than one charge per property and adding a targeted rate for economic development
“The council considers it appropriate to introduce a targeted rate for economic development based on who receives the greater benefits.
“Although council considers there is specific benefit to the business community, the community as whole also benefits from a healthy district economy,” the report said.
After a full day of hearings and deliberations, the committee approved the following:
To change the public/private split for the economic development activity to be 50 per cent public funded by general rates, with the remainder funded through a new targeted economic development rate to the commercial/industrial sector. The general rate differential is reduced to 1.8 from 2 for the commercial/industrial sector.
The public funding for water and wastewater is set from 0-10 per cent.
Recommendations will be considered by CDC on December 6.
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