Farming properties to be considered for rate reduction

Some high valued farming properties may be offered rate reductions.

Some high valued farming properties may be offered rate reductions.

High valued farming properties identified for future residential developments are being considered for rate reductions, possibly at the expense of other ratepayers.
New differential rates scenarios that could potentially shift the rate burden to general ratepayers were outlined at council’s first open briefing session last week.
Community members were able to listen to a presentation by officers before having the opportunity to ask questions.
Council last month received a report outlining five different scenarios that aim to ease the rates of farmers who have genuine farming properties in areas identified for future growth.
Six scenarios were presented to council ranging from an average $6 increase to residential rates assessments to $157; or a no change option.
The scenarios focus on properties in the urban growth zone, particularly 46 properties that are classed as genuine farming properties.
Five of the six scenarios presented to council support rate reductions for the 46 farm properties and creation of a new differential rate, urban living farm.
The scenarios aim to reduce the rate burden on the 46 ratepayers while the general rate in the dollar will increase for all other ratepayers.
Corporate and community services director Mark Dupe explained that changing the differential rates breakdown did not change the rates council needed to raise each year.
He said if the differential of one property class decreased, another class would have to pay more to raise the same total rate revenue.
Mr Dupe said increased valuations of properties in the urban growth zone had led to significant increases with farming properties in that zone paying an average $17,800 in rates.

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