Rates Changes

We are now just over a couple of months into our new rates year, which saw a rates increase for the district of 4.5 per cent.

This change however, does not necessarily apply to what you pay through your rates this year; depending on where you live, rates have actually gone down, while for others, the rate increase is less than or more than 4.5 per cent.

While most people are not ordinarily a fan of rates increases, I was pleased to see in the recent New Zealand Taxpayers Union 2018 report, that our district has the third lowest average residential rates in the country, which is a pretty outstanding result.

But changes to rates aside, the Council has also moved from bi-monthly rates invoices, to quarterly invoices which has caused some confusion and understandably, some frustration.

The change means you are now receiving your rates invoices once every three months instead of every two months. Most importantly, this change does not affect how much you pay in your rates this year.

So why this change now? Quarterly invoices are a common practice for most councils across the country – in fact, of 51 district councils in New Zealand, 48 of them (including Ashburton) are on a quarterly cycle.

Ashburton made the change to quarterly invoices to bring us into line with this practice, and to also make the processes more cost effective and efficient; reducing the number of invoices Council sends each year saves money and reduces administration costs.

An additional benefit to moving to quarterly invoices means you no longer have a rates bill due close to Christmas time, unlike with bi-monthly invoices.

To begin this change, we needed to wait until a new rates year had begun, which for Ashburton District Council was on 1 July 2018.

Like any change to how things are done, not everything neatly aligned between the old process and the new one, and so we now find ourselves in a transition period.

And that’s important to note: this change, and the effects being experienced in regards to the timing of invoicing, will only be felt this year with rates now due on 20 August, 20 November, 20 February and 20 May moving forward.

No doubt you may still have questions about how these changes may impact you, so I encourage you to contact our friendly ADC Customer Service team on 03 307 7700 for personalised assistance. ​

Page reviewed: 26 Sep 2018 12:45pm