Why is the general rate increase 7% for the financial year July 1 2023 to June 30 2024?
Waikato District Council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan had only provided for a 3.5 per cent rise in the coming financial year. However, the impacts of inflation and interest rates as well as damage caused to infrastructure by the recent weather events in the district had made that figure unsustainable, without having to cut back on key services.
Council agreed to a 7% general rates increase for 2023/24 at a council meeting on the Draft Annual Plan 2023-24 on 5 April 2023. It is set to be officially adopted at the 28 June 2023 Council meeting.
Couldn’t the % increase have been lower?
The simple truth is that if we do not keep up with rising costs then we will be increasing our debt and putting ourselves in a tricky situation for the future. This rate rise allows us to maintain our position and continue to deliver the important services that our residents need and expect.
Does this mean my general rates increase for 2023/24 will be 7%?
The general rate is made up of two parts; one is variable and is linked to the value of your property, and one is a fixed charge that is the same amount for every property. The fixed charge is called the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC).
So, the UAGC will have a 7% general rates increase for every property (rateable unit). This will be $462.55 for 2023/24, up from $432.25.
But the dollar amount of the capital value component increase, which also increases by 7%, will depend on your property value.
How can I check what the general rates increase means for me?
You can check the impact of the general rate increase on your rates for your property by going to our Rates Information Database here. Simply type in your address and look at the Property charges 2023/24 section.
What about targeted rates?
Targeted rates are a user-pays rate, which covers services (such as water, wastewater, rubbish and recycling collections), and these are charged according to the location of your property and the services available. These will increase in 2023/24 at a rate in line with what was signalled in Year 3 of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.
Why was the 7% general rate increase not consulted on with the public?
Councils are only required to consult on Annual Plans where there are big changes to work programmes outlined in their 10-Year Long-Term Plans. No major changes are planned for the 2023/24 period.
Staff have undertaken an assessment of significance of the general rate increase of 7% and determined that this does not require consultation under the Significance and Engagement Policy.
What can I do to get financial support to pay my rates?
You can go to our Rates rebates page on our website here.
There are eligibility criteria and they can be found on the web page. Or call our rates team on 0800 492 452.
Payment plans can also be arranged with our Credit Control team.
It is also worth reading Council’s Postponement Policy – Financial Hardship on rates. It is available on our website here.
Work and Income may be able to help. They have a web page entitled Help With Living Expenses and that can be found here.
When will the 2023/24 Annual Plan be available to read?
The 2023/24 Annual Plan is in Draft format. The plan is set to be formally adopted by Council on 28 June 2023, after which it will be available to read online.