West Coast council to keep ‘faith’ over rates

2:26 pm on 7 September 2022
The West Coast Regional Council chambers in Greymouth.

The West Coast Regional Council chambers at Paroa. Photo: Supplied / Greymouth Star

The West Coast Regional Council says it intends to keep "good faith" with ratepayers and not impose a further rates increase based on new capital valuations for the region.

New property valuations came in higher than expected in the 2022-23 annual plan.

The council yesterday gave notice it will reset its rates based on a yield increase of 17 percent against that anticipated in the 2022-2023 Annual Plan from revised capital values for the region. It has called an extraordinary meeting for 21 September, six days after the postal vote begins for this year's local body election.

However, it says the new valuation yield will not be reflected in this year's rates, with the "status quo" to remain.


The new valuations from QV arrived on 1 July, two days after the council approved the rates rise based on what it had consulted the public with in the annual plan.

On 28 June the council approved a 10 percent rates increase for this financial year, but excluded a planned inflation adjustment of 2.3 percent which had been signalled in the long-term plan.

Last year, West Coast Regional Council rates went up 30 percent.

The public notice for the extraordinary meeting said the estimated rateable capital value of the West Coast had increased 15 percent above that used to set the general rate in June.

Chief executive Heather Mabin said the council had to set its rates to meet the statutory timeframe by the end of June, although it was aware there might also be a variation with the capital value baseline.

There had been a delay at council in being able to run the new capital valuations numbers due to an accounting system changeover at the council, she said.

As it turned out the new QV values "were much different" from what was expected, Mabin said.

Acting corporate services manager Marc Ferguson said they had done rates modelling before the system upgrade, but once the revised values were received some capital valuations had increased by as much as $10 for every $100.

Regardless of the council's intention not to pass on the yield increase this time it was required to give notice to reset the rates based on the adjusted QV values, he said.

The council proposed "in good faith" to maintain what it had previously set but against the new capital value yield figure.

"We're having to stick with the original rates amount posted in the annual plan... it's the status quo," Ferguson said.

"It's not about us making extra money with the extra QV money."

However, notification of the first rates instalment would probably be pushed out to the end of October.

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