Hamilton city councillors are today expected to decide whether to pursue changing the city's rating system to capital value.
Staff will present a report recommending a change and if the council opts to proceed, the plan would go out for public consultation and a final council decision made in November.
Under the capital value (current yield) rating option, recommended by council staff, commercial ratepayers would continue to pay 33 per cent of the city's $153 million rates bill.
However, big operators, such as the city's major retail centres and utilities such as Wel Networks and Vodafone would pay a far bigger chunk of the bill. Owners of smaller, low-rise buildings in Hamilton's central city and Frankton will benefit.
In general, residential ratepayers in older suburbs such as Whitiora, the Lake, Fairfield, Beerescourt, Silverdale and Dinsdale would pay slightly less. In newer suburbs such as Flagstaff, Huntington and Rototuna, they would pay more.
The Times understands there is significant support among councillors for a change to capital value but others are wary about triggering a controversial public consultation phase when the council has a track record of backing down on making changes to the rating system.