Federated Farmers Submission for Waipa District Council Long Term Plan

We have serious concerns with the suite of rating changes being progressed. It is clear that the material effect of these changes is creating inequitable funding policies which disproportionately affects rural ratepayers. When it is shown that average urban properties are getting a 4% to 10% rates reduction over the next 3 year but rural properties will be getting a 12% to 15% rates increase over the same period, then it is clear that the rating system is progressively being applied in a inequitable way.

We strongly oppose the way ‘ability to pay’ principles have been applied and progressed since the last LTP and the increased reliance on the general rate.

We strongly oppose the rates increases projected for rural properties over the next 3 years, especially when compared to the rates reductions that residential properties are set to receive.

We recommend the wider use of differentials, including one for rural properties, to offset the unfairly high proportion of general rates paid by them.

We recommend an alternative funding option is investigated which would keep the targeted ward rate but have it applied on a SUIP basis. The proviso is that increased rates sourced from this option would need to be concurrent with a reduction in the general rate.

We recommend that any proposed new projects such as Te Awamutu town centre development, Our Heritage – significant sites, Waipa Discovery Centre and the Cambridge Town Hall and others should be charged via a uniform charge (as part of the ward charge or UAGC) and not via the general rate.

For more, please see the full submission