Pays to check as some could get decreases
One major aspect of the Long Term Plan of course is that wonderful thing called RATES! I pay them and for some if not most Auckland readers you pay them too. Now I think it is safe we don’t like increases especially LARGE rates increases. One aspect that can influence how much of an increase you face is what is called the Uniform Annual General Charge.
In short the UAGC is a flat flee levied against your total Rates bill. By law the UAGC can not be more than 30% of one’s Rates bill. Now there are four components to your Rates and they are:
- Uniform Annual General Charge
- General Component which is determined by the value of your property
- Waste Management fee (differs depending on which legacy area you live in)
- Targeted Rates
The method to how Council calculates rates requirements are here: step by step explanation of how your rates are calculated
By now you would hear Councillors and others going on about what level the Uniform Annual General Charge should be. For the most part most will say the $385 proposed level is fine. However, there is a small minority that say the full $900 UAGC should be levied. You will find people like Councillors George Wood and Cameron Brewer pushing for that charge saying it is more fair. It actually isnt.
The $900 UAGC level works for properties well beyond the million dollar range (a place up in Paritai Drive worth $3m would get a 30% rates decrease) but absolutely screws over South and West Auckland where I would levelled a 23% rise being in Papakura.
I have been doing random calculations using the Rates Calculator provided by the Council: Rates Guide. The results thus far have been quite interesting and also why listening to a Councillor might not be a good idea some days.
In general for urban residential properties but NOT ALWAYS so do check:
- Properties below $500,000 on average look at Rates Decreases under a NO Uniform Annual General Charge or a very low increase under the $250 level
- Between $500,000 to $700,000 the $250 UAGC Level gave low increases
- $1m to around $2m you started getting decreases at the No UAGC level but increases at the $900 level
- $700,000 to $1m is where it gets interesting and some factors come into play:
- If your property value went up below the 34% average you would see generally a decrease
- Above the average and some stiff increases came into play however, the No UAGC level often but not always gave the lowest of the increases
So it pays to check the Rates Guide. One thing is for certain though the $900 UAGC only helps a very small minority in Auckland while hurting the rest. Also remember the Council’s Rates Remission Scheme is there as well for people on fixed income like Super. So do take it up as only 25% who are eligible have done so.