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Council adopts Revenue and Finance Policy – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on Wednesday voted to adopt several changes to its Revenue and Financing Policy and Rates Remission policies. The changes were publicly consulted on from 1 December to 28 January and drew 541 written and 11 verbal submissions. The changes came from a thorough review of the policies.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Hinewai Ormsby, says the Revenue and Financing Policy has had several amendments, but hasn’t had a full review for a very long time. In 2021, the Council announced its intention to consult on and then review changes to the policy before its next long-term plan in 2024.

“We’ve really appreciated all the feedback and engagement from the community around the consultation on the policies because we know how complex the issues around rates can be.”

“Uppermost in Council’s mind while making decisions about the changes to the policies was a fair and equitable way to split up the rates. Council did a thorough analysis and turned over every rock and has found that this new policy benefits a variety of ratepayers including those in lower socio-economic areas.”

“It’s important to note that these changes won’t increase the total rates, fees and charges collected.”

The changes include:

  • Moving from land value (LV) to capital value (CV) for the general rate
  • How the Regional Economic Development rate is allocated
  • Rating for flood protection and drainage schemes
  • Rating for passenger transport
  • Freshwater Science changes, including a new targeted rate
  • Simplifying biodiversity and biosecurity rates (while retaining the sustainable land management rate)
  • Improvements and additions to the rates remission and postponement policies

Chair Ormsby added: “Changing from LV to CV for the general rate does not by itself mean that you will pay more. It depends on your ratio of CV to LV. For example, properties with low land values but improvement values lower than the average will see an overall decrease.”

Other councils in Hawke’s Bay that rate on CV are the Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa district councils.

Chair Ormsby also considers it unlikely that a CV-based rating system will lead to a shortage of affordable housing.

“There are many factors that influence development and Regional Council rates, particularly on affordable housing, are very low (compared to district council rates) so they’re unlikely to be a key driver in anyone’s decision to build affordable housing.”

On balance, the Council considers that CV is more equitable and fairer because it considers the land and improvement value and recognises the environmental effect of both. CV also represents a better reflection of people’s gross wealth. Council is required to recover the costs of its activities based on a number of principles including taxation.

To find out more about the consultation and submissions, go to www.consultations.nz/hbrc/revenue-and-financing-policy

 

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