News | 19 September 2023
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Council starts consultation on review of rating policies

Wellington City Council is engaging with the community on proposed changes to its rating policies with formal public consultation now open.

Wellington City from Tinakori Hill on a sunny day

Feedback can be submitted via its website until 15 October 2023.


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Each year, the Council sets its overall budget as part of the Long-term Plan and Annual Plan process. The rates-funded component of that budget is then collected from property owners.


Council rating policies define how the overall rates bill is divided up, to determine the proportion each property owner pays.


The proportion each pays depends on a range of factors, like the property’s capital value, whether it is commercial or residential, and what services the property receives.  


Key proposed changes include:


  • Reducing the proportion of rates paid by commercial, industrial and business ratepayers. Currently, a commercial property will pay $3.70 in general rates for every $1 that a residential property of the same value pays. It is proposed to reduce this to $3.25.


  • Increasing the proportion of rates paid on vacant land in the central city. Owners of vacant land in the central city would pay $4.50 in general rates for every $1 that a residential property of the same value pays. Currently there is no separate category for vacant land in the central city.

Councillor Rebecca Matthews, Chair of Kōrau Tōtōpū the Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee, says councils are required to review their Long-term Plans every three years and the Rating Policy Review is the third phase in the engagement process.


“It’s been a long time since the Council has reviewed the rating policy. We face different challenges today, so we want feedback from Wellingtonians to ensure rates are allocated in the best way to meet our current and future needs.”


The Council is not consulting on whether land value is a more appropriate measure to base rates on than capital value at this time.


This review has been delayed until after the 2024-34 Long-term Plan has been adopted, to allow further progress on the District Plan (due to be operational in 2025) and to ensure enough time to consider the impact and engage further with the community, given the significance of any change in this area. 


The Rating Policy Review is phase three of the 2024-34 Long-term Plan engagement process, following the Outcome and Priorities engagement and a Citizens’ Assembly on levels of service.


Feedback can be submitted via the Let’s Talk website at until 15 October 2023. The engagement document and submission forms are available at Wellington City Libraries and the Service Centre on Manners Street.


Oral hearings take place on 1 November. Any changes stemming from the review would be implemented from July 2024 as part of the Long-term Plan 2024-34.