Farm values boost regional rate take
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.