Understanding your rates
This flyer was sent out with the 2016 rates notices and should answer many questions you have about your rates.
Download the 2016 rates flyer.
What are rates?
We collect rates from properties in the Southland region once a year in October/November. Rates are a yearly charge against a property, made up of different types of rates for the various services we provide. Rates are our single biggest source of income, and account for nearly 63% of our budgeted operating revenue.
What do my rates pay for?
On your behalf, we manage the use of Southland's natural resources – water, land, air and coast.
We monitor, investigate and report on the state of these resources and the pressures on them, so that your elected representatives (i.e. Councillors) can set policies for their management that reflect the community's expectations and aspirations.
We also grant consents for the use of those resources, with conditions that balance the requirements of farmers, industry and other commercial users against environmental considerations and the needs of recreational users and the wider community.
Your rates contribute towards the cost of carrying out our services, including:
- monitoring and managing water quality and quantity issues
- managing and protecting the environment from the adverse effects of resource use
- emergency response and preparedness – in combination with the territorial authorities
- catchment management, including flood protection and control works
- biosecurity and biodiversity management
- regional transport matters
For more information on the specific projects and services your rates are helping to pay this financial year (1 July to 30 June), take a look at the flyer that accompanies the rates notices sent by post to all households in Southland.
What are the different types of rates?
All ratepayers pay the General Rate, Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC), as well as three separate Biosecurity Rates and a Land Sustainability Rate. Most ratepayers also pay a Rating District and/or Drainage Rate based on the assessment of the benefit received.
Your General Rate is based on the capital value of your property. We apply a differential on the general rate on capital value for dairy farms, which helps to pay for costs specifically related to dairy farming.
Uniform Annual General Charge
The Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) is a fixed amount per property. These rates are used to fund all or part of activities that have benefit to the whole community.
Depending on where you live and the type of property you own, your rates invoice may show additional rating categories. Our annual rates flyer has more information about what each of these rates are for, and how they are calculated.
How can I pay my rates?
Head over to our payments page to find out how to pay your rates.
Every rates account is unique. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, please contact our rates staff on 0800 ESRATES (0800 377 283), send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our offices.