Some Manawatu homeowners newly absorbed into Palmerston North territory are unimpressed after the boundary change meant they were hit with rates increases.
They say they weren't warned of the rates rises, but Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford said that in June a mailer was sent to ratepayers affected by the boundary change, and most former Kairanga ward residents should actually see smaller bills.
"In fact, I heard from someone in Longburn last week who was very pleased as his rates had dropped a couple of hundred dollars," Mr Clifford said.
The changes to residents' bills came about because the Manawatu District Council calculated rates based on the capital value of properties, while the city council used land value.
Cloverlea Rd resident Andrew Pugh's house was previously rated by the Manawatu District Council. With the boundary change now complete, his rates have climbed 23 per cent.
Mr Pugh said he was shocked to find his rates had increased from $1212 to $1474 now he was considered a resident of Palmerston North.
He had attended a ratepayers' meeting in Longburn held jointly by Palmerston North city and Manawatu district councils and said he was not warned the discrepancy would be so great.
"The city council staff said the rates would stay the same or similar, and I don't think a 23 per cent rise is similar. They must have known because this process has been on the cards for the last two or two-and-a -alf years. It's not something they dredged up halfway through May."
He said he thought the boundary change was a good idea, but hadn't expected it to hit him in the pocket.
"I was quite keen on it, I thought it made sense," Mr Pugh said. "It was going to be better for roading but clearly if they said rates were going to go up I wouldn't have been happy about it, put it that way."
Fellow Cloverlea Rd resident Mike Jarvis said he was getting no extra services for the 10.8 per cent increase in his bill. He said the boundary change had increased his other bills, too, such as the cost of registering his dog.
"I'm sure the system is fair if you're already in it but now it's a bit of a mess," he said. "I've had these little incidental increases and no-one really cares. We were clearly told little would change ... it's another case of the council doing whatever they do and the ratepayer just putting up with it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Which sculpture do you prefer for Woodville?Related story: (See story)