Rates Frequently-Asked Questions

This section answers frequently-asked questions about rates.

If you have any questions that aren't answered, please contact us on rates@tasman.govt.nz.

About My Rates Invoice

About Rating Valuations

About Rates

Buying, Selling and Subdividing

Payments and Refunds

Rates Remissions (waivers) and Rebates

Public Rates Information

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About My Rates Invoice

I have sold my property and I am still receiving rates invoices. Why?

We may not have received the Notice of Change of Ownership. Please contact your solicitor in the first instance.

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What do I do if I go on holiday?

You’ll still need to pay your rates on time to avoid penalties. You may wish to sign up for a direct debit, or see payment details on your first instalment and arrange payment in advance.

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I can't afford to pay my rates , what can I do?

If you are having difficulty paying your rates and have rates arrears, we may be able to enter into a payment arrangement with you. Please contact the rates office for all payment arrangements.  If your request for a payment arrangement is successful and the payments do not default, you will avoid incurring future penalties and may be eligible for a remission of some penalties recently incurred.

You may sign up to pay your rates by direct debit- and payment options include weekly or fortnightly payment, which may assist in managing your cash flow. Forms are availble at our offices or can be downloaded

If you are unable to keep your rates account up to date, we are able to collect all arrears through either enforcement via your mortgage provider, or by legal proceedings through the courts. We'd like it if that didn't happen, so please contact us - we will work with you to get it sorted.

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Why are rates bills so complicated?

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 requires a lot of different information be contained on your bill to provide transparency.  If you do have any questions about how to read your bill, get in touch with us.

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What months does each instalment cover?

Rates are set each year as at 1 July.  The four instalments are in place to spread the rates through the year.

  • Instalment 1: 1 July-30 September
  • Instalment 2: 1 October-31 December
  • Instalment 3: 1 January- 31 March
  • Instalment 4: 1 April- 30 June

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I've lost my rates invoice, or did not receive one - what do I do?

Phone the Customer Services team on 03 543-8400 or email rates@tasman.govt.nz to request a copy.

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Why have I received my rates invoice when I pay by direct debit?

We're legally required to send out an invoice and assessment. We send invoices quarterly. The account is for your information only and will state that it is to be paid by direct debit.

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I did not receive my rates invoice and now I have a penalty.  This is not fair.  What can I do?

As a property owner, you should be aware that rates are paid quarterly.  If you notice that an invoice hasn't arrived, please contact us to ensure the correct address is on file and to request a copy of your invoice. 

You may wish to sign up for direct debit to avoid missing future payments.

If you do receive a penalty, you may be eligible for a remission (waiver/reversal) of this penalty. 

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Can I get you to change or remove a name on a rates invoice?

The information held on the rating database is as per the Certificate of Title.  You can contact your solicitor if you need to change information on a rates account due to a death or marriage.  The Council will process the change upon receiving a Notice of Change of Ownership.

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Can I get rates invoices emailed to me?

Yes.

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Can I get you to update my postal address?

Yes- you can email rates@tasman.govt.nz to have your postal address updated quoting relevant valuation assessments and water accounts that need to be updated. 

Please let us know whether the address change applies to all accounts held with us, and also whether addresses of any rates joint owners will also change. 

You can also fill out the change of address form on the remittance part of your rates invoice and drop at a Council office.

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I lease out the property - can I get the invoice issued to the tenant?

Generally the owner will still need to be invoiced and pay for the rates.  It is then up to the owner to recover the rates from the lessee.  An exception may apply for a registered long term lease that is at least 10 years long.

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About Rating Valuations

Who says how much my property is worth, and what if I don't agree?

Valuations are undertaken every three years on behalf of Council by Quotable Value ("QV"). When the valuations are released, you are given the opportunity to object directly with QV before they are finalised and used for setting the rates. 

If you do have questions between objection periods, please contact QV directly on 0800 651 133.

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What if I have made changes to my property since the last three yearly revaluation?

If you have applied for a building consent, we will automatically notify the Council's valuer, Quotable Value ("QV").  QV will review the value to reflect the work carried out under the building consent.  In this case you will be notified of any value changes in due course.

If you have done new work that does not require a building consent your property values may or may not be impacted depending on the nature and extent of the work that has been done. QV can only review the values if they are aware of this work so please contact QV directly on 0800 651 133 to determine whether your value needs to be revised.

If the value changes, your rates will change from 1 July the following year.

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About Rates

Why are rates bills so complicated?

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 requires a lot of different information be contained on your bill to provide transparency.  If you do have any questions about how to read your bill, get in touch with us.

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How do you determine the amount of my rates?

The back of your rates invoice will detail each of the rates you are charged. 

The annual rates requirement for each rate type is determined through Council's Annual Plan or Long Term Plan process.

Once the total rates revenue is determined ,it is apportioned out to individual properties based on the rating factor the rate is charged on. This may include land value, capital value, per rating unit (property) etc.

Details of what each rate is for and what the rate funds are listed in our Funding Impact Statement.

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Why do rates vary for different ratepayers?

How you are rated varies depending on where you live, what services you can access and the value of your property.  Council does not determine the value of your property.  Valuations are carried out by an independent valuation company and approved by the Office of the Valuer General.  Council then applies this information to set it's rates.

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Why do I have to pay rates if I don't use the service (e.g. facilities rate)?

Many of Council's targeted rates are charged to properties within a certain rating area.  A targeted rate is designed to fund a specific activity or function. If your property is within the rating area, you will be charged the rate.  The rating maps are included in our Funding Impact Statement.

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Why do I have to pay the stormwater rate if I don’t have a stormwater connection on my property?

Many of the Council’s targeted rates are charged to properties within a certain rating area, including the stormwater rate. All properties in the district pay a stormwater rate, with those included in the Urban Drainage Rating area paying a higher rate than those in the general district area.

The stormwater rate funds the stormwater activity including capital improvements and maintenance costs which are for the benefit of all road and property drainage that is required in urban areas. A function of the stormwater activity is to minimise the risk of flooding of buildings and property. The rating maps are included in our Funding Impact Statement.

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Who pays rates?

In most cases, the owner of a property rather than the occupier is the person responsible for ensuring the rates are paid. The occupier will only be included on the rates invoice if the long term lease is registered on the certificate of title.

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What is a Rating Unit?

In most cases a rating unit is the area specified in the Certificate of Title.  Exceptions may apply where a property is used as one farming operation, a significant improvement straddles the boundary of two titles or where the titles are legally required to be sold together.

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Where do my rates go?

Your rates are used to pay for a variety of services and activities.

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Buying Selling and Subdividing

I have sold my property and I am still receiving rates invoices. Why?

We may not have received the Notice of Change of Ownership. Please contact your solicitor in the first instance.

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I have sold the property. Does the Council apportion my rates?

No - apportionments are done by solicitors at settlement. Please ensure your solicitor notifies us of the sale or transfer.

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I have sold my property - what happens with my water?

Your solicitor should request a special meter reading, and the final water bill must be paid as part of the settlement process.

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What happens with the direct debit I have in place when I sell my property?

We will cancel the direct debit at the advice of your solicitor, or you.

The direct debit is not transferred to another property, so if you're moving to a new property in the district, you will need to complete a new direct debit form for that property.

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I bought a property, why haven't I received a rates notice for it?

Contact the rates team to check that a notice of sale has been received to show you are the new owner.  If we have not received one, then you will need to contact your solicitor. 

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What happens to my rates if I subdivide?

If a property is subdivided or resurveyed during a rating year, the assessment details will remain unchanged until the start of the next rating year in July. We request you clear the rates for the entire year before we process the subdivision.

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Payments and Refunds

What payment options are available to me?

 There are several payment options available - including electronic banking and direct debit.

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What is the Council bank account number?

Please ensure you use the appropriate valuation reference (i.e. valuation number for rates or water account number for water) to ensure your payment is applied to your account.

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I have overpaid my rates or water rates, can I get a refund?

Bank details for refunds must be provided in writing or by email. You can email through your request for a transfer to rates@tasman.govt.nz

We'll review the request. It's possible to transfer overpayments to other accounts you have with balances owing.

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I've changed bank account numbers - do I need to complete a new direct debit form?

Yes. Email through the new form to us at rates@tasman.govt.nz or complete a new form and return it to one of our offices.

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I want to change the frequency of a direct debit - do I need to complete a new direct debit form?

No - simply email rates@tasman.govt.nz or call us to let us know.  We will send you a written confirmation.

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How do I cancel my direct debit for rates?

You can email rates@tasman.govt.nz or call us on 03 543-8400.

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Rates remissions (waivers) and refunds

What is a rates remission, and am I eligible for one?

A Rates Remission allows us to effectively "remit" or reverse a portion of your rates charges.  We may remit rates in a number of circumstances, such as reducing rates for certain community organisations. 

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I own adjoining properties; do I have to pay rates on all these properties?

Yes, generally you have to pay rates on all the properties, however you may pay less rates. Properties can be deemed to be "contiguous" if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Owned by the same person/persons (exact same person or persons on the certificate of title), and

  • Used jointly as a single property, and

  • Contiguous or separated only by road, railway, drain, water race, river or stream.

If two or more properties are "contiguous", certain rates that are set per property or rating unit, will only be charged one time.  If your property qualifies for this treatment, please complete this form and send through to the rates team.  This may result in a rates decrease of over $500 per second and subsequent properties.

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Am I eligible for a rates rebate?

Rates rebates are a subsidy to assist lower income earners with the cost of their rates.

To be eligible for a rates rebate:

  • You must be shown as the legal ratepayer for the property that was your home on 1 July.
  • You must pay the rates for the home in which you live.
  • It must not be principally used for commercial, industrial, business or farming purposes.

The amount of any rates rebate is based on three factors:

  1. The amount of your annual rates levy.

  2. The total income received by you and your partner.

  3. The number of dependants residing on the property.

The maximum rebate for the 2017/2018 year is $620.  Visit the Department of Internal Affairs link below under the "are you eligible" heading- and use the "electronic calculator" to see if you're eligible.

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 Public Rates Information

What is the Rating Information Database?

 The rating information database includes information such as the property location, valuation number, capital and land value, and current year rates.

If there are any incorrect details in the rating information database please advise the Rates Officer as soon as possible by emailing rates@tasman.govt.nz.

Section 28A of the Act states that the local authority's complete rating information database, which includes the names and postal addresses of the owners of rating units must be available at the public office of the authority.  However as a property owner, you do not have to display your name and mailing address in the public database.

Apply to have your details withheld

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How can I find out information about a property including its land value, capital value and rates for a year?

Our rating information database is also available in hard copy for you to view during office hours at Council offices.  This hard copy information if updated once a year and a public notice is issued in May to let you know this.

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How can I have my name and postal address withheld from the public database?

Yes, simply return the application form to rates@tasman.govt.nz. You can also hand it in to an office

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