Val­u­a­tions a com­fort for some

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

FEWER house­holds will face mas­sive rates hikes next year af­ter new prop­erty val­u­a­tions showed mostly mod­est in­creases.

But home­own­ers in Grafton and West­ern Springs may be among those who see a big­ger rates bill.

New val­u­a­tion no­tices, which de­ter­mine how next year’s rates are set, were sent to house­holds by Auck­land City Coun­cil this week.

The re­cent house mar­ket slump has damp­ened res­i­den­tial prop­erty val­ues, which in­creased by an av­er­age 11.7 per­cent since 2005.

In the last val­u­a­tion three years ago, prop­erty val­ues were up by an av­er­age of 51 per­cent.

Coun­cil fi­nance gen­eral man­ager An­drew McKen­zie says an over­all in­crease in prop­erty value doesn’t mean a big­ger rates take for the coun­cil.

“We work out how much money we want to spend, and then we spread that across ratepay­ers ac­cord­ing to the value of their prop­erty,” he says.

Home­own­ers with prop­er­ties that have in­creased more than the city av­er­age are likely to pay more rates next year.

Th­ese in­clude Grafton, with an av­er­age an­nual value in­crease of 24 per­cent, West­ern Springs with 26 per­cent, and Waterview with 14 per­cent.

Home­own­ers may see a small drop in Eden Ter­race, St Lukes, Owairaka, New Wind­sor, Three Kings, Pon­sonby and Grey Lynn, where an­nual value in­creased by be­tween 6 per­cent and 7 per­cent.

But all ratepay­ers will still be re­quired to pay an inflation ad­just­ment of 5 per­cent.

And a plan to spread rates more fairly be­tween com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties means res­i­den­tial home­own­ers will bear an ex­tra 1.6 per­cent of the rates bur­den next year.

Home­own­ers have un­til De­cem­ber 1 to ob­ject to the val­u­a­tion.

Sev­eral thou­sand ob­jec­tions are ex­pected, which the coun­cil aims to have set­tled be­fore rates no­tices are sent out next year.

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