Farm val­ues boost re­gional rate take

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By STEVE ED­WARDS

The value of ru­ral land in Mata­mata-Pi­ako, par­tic­u­larly farms sup­ply­ing Tatua Co­op­er­a­tive Dairy Com­pany, has jumped by more than 30 per cent in three years and pushed up Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil rates across the dis­trict.

While the WRC has come out with a mod­est 0.2 per cent av­er­age rate rise in its next bud­get, last Wed­nes­day’s Mata­mataPi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil meet­ing heard that ratepay­ers face an in­crease of 2.7 per cent.

A staff re­port said of the 11 dis­tricts in the Waikato re­gion, for 2015/16 Mata­mataPi­ako has the third high­est es­ti­mated rates for a $200,000 prop­erty – be­hind Hamil­ton City and Otoro­hanga, and the sec­ond high­est for both a $350,000 prop­erty and a $1 mil­lion prop­erty – af­ter only Hamil­ton.

Hugh Ver­coe, WRC rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Wai­hou Ward, told the dis­trict coun­cil that the es­ti­mated dis­trict value has in­creased by 17.29 per cent since the last val­u­a­tion in 2012. This in­cludes an ‘‘enor­mous’’ swing of 31 per cent in the value of ru­ral prop­er­ties.

Ver­coe said a lot of this move­ment would re­late to the value of Tatua farms, which have been chang­ing hands for more than $100,000 a hectare. In dol­lar terms, Ver­coe said Mata­mata-Pi­ako ratepay­ers will pay 10.07 per cent of the re­gional to­tal, an in­crease of just 0.84 per cent from the the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

Dis­trict coun­cil­lor Neil Goodger said dis­trict ratepay­ers are be­ing pe­nalised for iso­lated sales of Tatua farms. ‘‘You can’t buy a farm some­where else and join Tatua.’’ The dis­trict coun­cil re­quested fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the es­ti­mated val­u­a­tions.

WRC uses pro­jected prop­erty val­ues for the as­sess­ment of its gen­eral and biose­cu­rity rates.

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