Environment Waikato is proposing to introduce a uniform annual general charge (UAGC) to provide a fairer rating system for the Region.
The UAGC would fund some services that benefit all ratepayers, which were previously funded from the General Rate. This part of the rates could then be reduced. If a Uniform Annual General Charge was approved, the total proposed is $36 per property, including GST. The Council is asking for public feedback on the proposal.
If ratepayers reject the UAGC proposal, the General Rate would have to increase to cover the costs it would pay for. The Council would also consider reducing the charge as an alternative to the proposed $36.
The charge is proposed to cover the Council’s work on Regional hazards ($5.76), the road safety component of land transport ($1.47), Council representation ($13.10), servicing of Council processes and meetings ($8.11) and statutory reporting ($7.28).
Chairman Neil Clarke said the Council had taken into account the potential effect on individual ratepayers, but was trying to put in place a fairer rating system for all. Feedback from ratepayers would determine what could be included in the charge.
The General Rate was set on capital values and any increase in valuation tended to place an unfair burden on those whose properties had gone up in value. The number of properties in the Region valued at over $300,000 had jumped from 17 per cent to 23 per cent after recent re-valuations, he said. These ratepayers had had larger rate increases but did not receive any more services.
He said the Council had also taken into account previous submissions arguing against the use of capital values when collecting rates. In most cases district councils set their rates using land values. With the recent legislative charges, some had moved partially to capital values, but most had also introduced UAGCs.
The proposal to introduce a UAGC across the Region is included in Environment Waikato’s Long-Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) that will soon be open for public submissions.