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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 'differential'?
Differentials are a weighting which is applied to General Rates, Roading Targeted Rates and Parks, Reserves and Sports Grounds Targeted Rates to recognise that different ratepayer groups in the community may benefit from these services to a varying degree.

Why is council changing the differential?
Council wants to ensure that the money it collects from rates is used fairly across the district and applied. The differentials between the different property categories such as residential, rural and commercial need to be fair and equitable. Council has determined that the current rating differentials are not fair and equitable.

Why is the differential being changed over three years?
The proposal is for General Rate differential for rural residents to be phased in over three years to enable them to amend their business plan to account for the increased cost. The change is not phased for the Feilding rural residents.

Will the differential changes affect all my rates?
Changes in the differentials will affect your rates if you live rurally or have a business in the Feilding CDB. The largest increase will be for those who live on the Feilding boundary (Feilding Rural) while the Feilding CDB will have a rate reduction.

What effect will the differential change have my Feilding residential rates?
The change in the differential being charged on the capital value (cv) portion of your rates is not changing. This means that the capital value portion (percentage) of your rates will remain the same. Other parts of your rates may change due to inflation or service level changes which will increase your rates.

I live on a farm and don't use the Feilding sports grounds, will I be paying more for them?
As a rural resident you only pay 0.3 of what a Feilding resident would pay. This is because you live far enough away from the parks, reserves and sports grounds that we do not consider you will get full benefit from the amenity. Because of this the differential will not change and you will not be paying more.

Why is my roading rate changing?
Council has assessed where the money for roads comes from and where it is spent. As a result the differential is being changed to better reflect where the majority of the costs for maintaining the districts roads goes.

Will I pay more for my stormwater drainage scheme?
There will be a small increase in the cost depending on where you live and if you are part of a current scheme. If you live in in Tangimoana, Himatangi Beach, Cheltenham and Halcombe you will have a new charge of $107.00, other schemes will increase to $107

If the stormwater proposal is not accepted what will happen?
If you live in a small settlement there will be a higher cost to creating a scheme which may make it unaffordable.

If the stormwater rate is harmonised will I have to pay even if I don't have a scheme?
No, if you do not have a stormwater drainage scheme in your town or village you will not be charged for it, only those that benefit from a scheme will pay for it.

I like what Council is proposing - do I need to put in a submission?
A submission ensures that Council knows that you like the proposal. We know that people will tell us when they don't like something, it is important that the other side is also heard so that a balanced and fair decision can be made. Not hearing the positive comments could result in a proposal that could benefit the community as a whole not being implemented.

Can I make a submission about other things?
Yes you can. We have highlighted two key issues, but you can talk to us about anything else that is important to you or your community.

We are also consulting on our Development Contributions Policy, Finance and Revenue Policy, and are happy to hear about anything else contained in the Draft Long Term Plan.

We don't go to the library or pool, so why should we pay towards these?
Pool and libraries are key features of a thriving community and have a flow on impact that benefits the community as a whole, not just those who use them. While there is some aspect of user pays it is not feasible to operate on a full cost recovery basis.

Council acknowledges that the people who live closer to these facilities benefit more than those that live further out. This is recognised in the rates where properties outside of Feilding pay less than those in Feilding.

Rural people don't have footpaths or streetlights so why should rural/Feilding rural pay the same roading differential?
The roading rate pays for more than just street lights and footpaths. In the rural area it pays for services such as vegetation control, slip clearing, mowing, drain maintenance, bridges maintenance, unsealed road maintenance, which have little benefit for urban residents.

We maintain our roading assets as one network.

The roading rate is primarily collected via a capital value based rate. The capital value of a property reflects the local services available. A property serviced by footpaths and streetlights will have a higher value than it would have if these services were not available. Properties with a higher capital value pay more roading rates.

Rural ratepayers don't get any benefit out of Economic Development so why should we pay the same as urban?
Council funds our Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) to provide services to all our key industries, including agriculture. Our Economic Development Strategy identifies agriculture and food as priority sectors for the District economy.

Specifically, funding from the Manawatu District ratepayers pays for CEDA to host the New Zealand AgriFood Investment Week, support FoodHQ and research and investment opportunities, provide business support services, and to actively seek access to emerging global markets that will benefit farming.

Should farmers pay the same rate as residential?
The rural sector is an important part of to the Manawatū District economy, it also recognises that a prosperous urban economy benefits the farming community.

Council considers rural and urban areas as interdependent and therefore inseparable in terms of being beneficiaries of Council services.

Council uses differentials to fairly apportion rates, which acknowledges varying access to services and who benefits the most.

Why are the roading differential changes not being phased in over 3 years?
The movement in the differential for roading (0.65 to 1.0) is not as great as the general rate (0.4 to 1.0). Analysis of the roading activity demonstrated an historic and current imbalance between the urban/rural spend and the urban/rural rates revenue.

Not increasing the differential would mean other ratepayers would have to pick up the additional cost of maintaining the roads.