|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Rates and the basis on which they are levied is one of a range of rating issues which Marlborough District Councillors will be reviewing in the year ahead.
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman says the changes in value of some properties in the last Quotable Value re-valuation had reignited debate over the rating system, particularly amongst rural property owners.
However he noted that the prospect of switching to a rating system based on capital values, rather than land values, had been considered several times over the last 15 years or so by the Marlborough District Council although each time councillors had opted to stick with the status quo.
“There are always those who have large areas of land with no, or few, improvements who would rather see a capital value rating system. But, once all the impacts of a change are taken into account, previous councils have not favoured any change to the system,” he said.
However, he said, some current councillors see merit in a rating system based on capital value and the matter would again be considered.
In the course of discussions on issues within the Long Term Plan 2012-22, adopted at the end of June, councillors asked to refer several rates-related matters back to a committee for further work.
As well as looking again at the grounds on which rates are set, councillors wanted urban-rural roading cost allocations to be reviewed and the rate applied to accommodation providers in the tourist industry to be re-examined.
Councillors have also asked to look again at the level of development contributions which are paid by developers to help meet the cost of reserves and other community infrastructure associated with growth.
A review of the application of the Wairau River rate has also been sought.
An examination of all these matters will be conducted by the Community and Financial Planning Committee over the next year, reporting back to the full Council.
Any changes which may be proposed on any of these rating issues would be subject to local government consultation processes.
A change to the rating system would require a change to the Council’s Long Term Plan in which any member of the public may participate through the submissions and hearings process.