​​​​​​What are rates and how are they calculated?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rates are a charge against a property (rating unit) and set by your local and regional councils. There are a number of factors that influence the amount​ of rates for an individual property and the rates that you'll pay.

  • ​​​​The use, location of the land, and services provided or available to your property

    Council operates rating categories (differentials) based on these factors. Different categories (for example Residential, Commercial, BID (CBD) Commercial and Other) will have different rates. ​​

    A description of these categories is in the Council's Funding Impact Statement (page 146)

  • ​​​​​The valuation of your property

    Council uses capital value to calculate the general rate, the Government compliance targeted rate (this is something new and you can read more about it below), and a small number of other targeted rates.

    City-wide property revaluations are carried out every three years. Our current rating valuations are based as at 1 September 2018. 

Want your rates invoice emailed to you? C​lick here to see how​ ​​ 

2021/22 Rates​

Everything we do is aimed at improving the wellbeing of Hamiltonians. We have been talking to Hamiltonians (a lot) to understand what they love about Hamilton Kirikiriroa and what would make the city an even better place to be. This feedback was used to create Council's five priorities and guide the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan:

  1. A city that's easy to live in
  2. A city where our people thrive
  3. A central city where people love to be
  4. A fun city with lots to do
  5. A green city.

As part of the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan, the Council adopted a number of changes to the rating system. Further detailed information regarding the basis of these changes can be found in the Revenue and Financing Policy.

To address the challenges our city is facing over the next 10 years, and help deliver what Hamiltonians told us would make Hamilton Kirikiriroa even better, in 2021/22 there is an average rates increase of 8.9% for existing properties.

We've also highlighted Council's costs to help deliver work driven by central government in our water services and District Plan by taking funding out of what we collect from general rates and ring fencing it as a new targeted rate called the Government compliance rate.

After year one, the annual average rates increase to existing ratepayers would be 4.9% (made up of both the general and targeted rates) every year.

The rates increases seek to balance affordability to ratepayers while tackling the challenges of being one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities. It also covers stricter water and planning compliance work required by Central Government.

Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)

The Council sets a Uniform Annual General Charge on each separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit.

A UAGC is a fixed portion of rates, applied on the same basis to all rating units, irrespective of their rating category.

In 2021/22 it is $584. The UAGC increases each year by the average rates increase percentage.

Government Compliance Targeted Rate

The Government compliance targeted rate has been introduced to fund additional costs in Council's water services activities as well as the cost of changing the District Plan as a result of legislation introduced by central Government.

The Government compliance targeted rate is applied to all rateable land in the same way as the general rate i.e. set on capital value and differentiated using the same rating categories as the general rate.

We've introduced the government compliance targeted rate because we believe it enables us to clearly pull out and explain what costs are associated with our water services and changes to our District Plan.

Water services

The government's increasing emphasis on water regulation and compliance are driving up the cost for all councils to deliver water services to their communities.

Our Council is no different. We need to make sure our drinking water network has more capacity and resilience (like building new water storage reservoirs and upgrading our treatment plant). We also need to continue ensuring that the processed wastewater and stormwater that goes into the Waikato River from our city is of the very high standard required.

Over the next 10 years, these requirements have a significant impact on our budget and we've estimated about $7.5 million per year to cover this. It is this cost the new government compliance targeted rate goes towards.

The cost of providing our current water services is built into the general rate.

Making changes to our District Plan

A number of new government requirements are forcing significant (and costly) changes to our District Plan over the next few years. While the requirement to make these changes is beyond Council's control, this presents an opportunity for us to redefine what Hamilton Kirikiriroa will look like in the future. Based on what Hamiltonians have told us, Council is determined to make sure the revised District Plan delivers good urban design across our city, improves housing affordability and diversity, and enables a city that grows up and out in the appropriate places – all while protecting and enhancing our natural spaces and improving transport choice and accessibility.

We've budgeted $15.4 million to overhaul the District Plan. Of this, $12.4 million is to pay for work required by government and this is what is covered in the government compliance targeted rate. This work will be undertaken (and the cost incurred) over the duration of the Long-Term Plan, but the portion of the government compliance targeted rate aimed at District Plan costs will only be collected over the first five years.

Removal of Hamilton Gardens rate

Council has transferred funding for development at Hamilton Gardens from the previous targeted rate to the general rate from 1 July 2021.

The Hamilton Gardens targeted rate was introduced in 2014/15 to fund Council's contribution towards delivering new themed gardens at Hamilton Gardens.

This targeted rate was intended to end in 2018. With the extension of the development programme in the 2018-28 10-Year Plan, the rate was retained to contribute to the funding for the development and maintenance of themed gardens.

Now the funding is transferred from the targeted rate, Council's contribution towards development at Hamilton Gardens remains at the same level,

including annual increases in line with previous increases to the targeted rate, through the general rate.

In 2020/21 the Hamilton Gardens targeted rate was approximately $13.80 incl GST per ratepayer.

​Rates rebates​

Rates rebates are available for residential property owners who live in their property from 1 July, and require assistance in paying their rates. There are qualifying criteria for the rebate, including a maximum total gross household income for the most recent completed tax year. Click here​ for further information regarding rates rebates.​

​When are your rates due?

Rates are invoiced in four instalments for the financial year that ​begins 1 July and ends 30 June.

To avoid penalties, you must pay your rates in full by the due date. Your invoice will be posted or emailed around four to five weeks before it is due. 

​Rates instalment due dates for the 2021/22 rating year

26 August 2021
26 November 2021
24 February 2022
20 May 2022


Page reviewed: 18 Feb 2022 12:09pm