Rural rates hike cut after criticism
Manawatu farmers have made themselves heard, with their district council backing down on proposed rural rates hikes that had incensed them.
But their win means ratepayers in central Feilding will have bigger rates increases than expected.
Manawatu District Council's long-term plan holds sweeteners for rural ratepayers, who put their foot down in the face of proposals to increase rural rates by up to 30 per cent on last year.
The plan, which included changes to the targeted rates system, had drawn ire from about 40 farmers and farm owners who turned out in support of Federated Farmers' submission to the long-term plan in May.
Kairanga ward councillor John Salmon said the council had heard the farming community loud and clear.
"I think we listened. The purpose of the submissions process is to listen to other people to see what they think of it and we found that particularly well represented by Federated Farmers."
Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei president Andrew Hoggard said he would have to study the latest plan before the new rates got his full seal of approval, but said it so far looked fair for farmers.
"It sounds fairly positive; I would have to see the fine print to see that we've achieved what we set out to achieve but, from a brief glance, it looks good."
Cr Salmon said he felt the right decision had been made.
"From my own point of view, I listened to them and I came out strongly in their favour.
"We listened not only to Federated Farmers but others who came in as well.
"For lots of reasons I felt that they had well-founded submissions, they worked hard on them and looked at it carefully and gave us a responsibility to listen to them."
Manawatu Mayor Margaret Kouvelis was unavailable for comment yesterday but at the time of their submission had commended Federated Farmers on its "thorough argument".
A Feilding residential property with a capital value of $295,000 would have paid $2515 in rates in 2011/12. In 2012/13 the owner of that property will cough up $2602, a 3.5 per cent increase.
A Feilding rural property worth $600,000 would have paid $1907 in rates in 2011/12 and will pay $2068 the next rates year, representing an 8.4 per cent increase.
A Manawatu rural property worth $3.7 million and eligible for a rates remission would have attracted rates of $3881 in 2011/12 and will see only a 1.3 per cent increase this year, paying $3932.
The largest hike is for Feilding Central Business District ratepayers, with some looking at an increase of just over 10 per cent.
A property with a capital value of $610,000 would have got a bill for $6933 in 2011/12 and will pay $7636 this year.
An industrial/commercial property with a $1.25m capital value had rates of $6237 last year and will pay $6393 this year, a 2.5 per cent rise.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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