Understanding your rates bill
You'll notice your rates bill is split into two parts, with a list of services or codes in each part. These parts are separate invoices which go to different councils, and what you pay for is specific to your property.
Your Environment Canterbury Regional Council rates bill will be included in the rates invoice/notice you receive from your city or district council e.g. Christchurch City Council or Timaru District Council.
City and district councils collect regional rates for us to reduce the costs associated with two agencies administering rates at the same time.
It also makes it easier for you, so you only get one bill, instead of two.
Who pays for what
How you benefit from what you pay for
You may have noticed there are things on your bill where you don’t see a direct benefit to your household.
For example, you might be paying for pest management, but you’ve never seen a possum in your backyard or weeds in the local stream.
The pest management rate funds pest control throughout the region to control pests where they already exist, and to prevent the spread of pests to areas where they aren’t already.
If you don’t have pests on your property – great! Your rates are helping us to keep it that way.
Public transport is another example. Some rural households are still required to pay rates for public transport, even if they do not have direct access to it themselves.
Effective public transport services contribute to less congestion and make it easier for freight to move throughout the region. This benefits all Cantabrians. However, it is recognised that those who cannot immediately access services should pay fewer rates, and this is generally the case.
Every rates bill is individual
Your rates could be different to your neighbour. Rates are based on the capital value of a property. This means that if your neighbour has a property of the same value as yours, they may pay the same rates as you.
If your properties have different capital values, or one of you is on the edge of a rating scheme, you would pay different rates.
Rates increases are noted as a percentage of the total revenue from all rates across the region.
Because rates are applied to an individual property using a mix of general (everyone) and targeted (location or activity-specific), it is not possible to say what percentage every property will pay until the rates are applied by your city or district council, who collects rates for us. However, sample properties are listed to give people an idea of what the percentage will be.
Explaining rates bill codes
Acronyms are used on the rates bill simply due to limited space on the invoice. For a full list of what work those acronyms represent, have a look in our Long-Term Plan (see Rating Funding Impact Statement - Detailed rates information).
Some of the more common acronyms used include:
Lettering to reference the way the rate is calculated:
- L: refers to rateable land value
- H: refers to rateable land area
Or local areas like:
- WEC: Waimakariri-Eyre-Cust.
- WFPP: Waimakariri Flood Protection Programme
A specified class e.g. ‘WEC Class A’, notes the degree of risk the property is subject to.
A is the highest rate, the most likely to benefit from the work that rates is funding, most in need of protection and usually the closest to the river or drain. The lowest class is Class F.
Our staff are happy to answer any questions about the information on the bill, as properties in different locations have different rates (with different acronyms used).
The work we do is carried out in collaboration with the community and many other agencies, including the city or district council that collects your regional rates on our behalf.
The details for payment options, dates of payment, penalties and locations for payment are available from your city or district council.
Assistance with paying your rates
Our Remission/Postponement Policy
In certain circumstances, payment of rates may be postponed or remitted (discounted). See our Rates Postponement Policy (PDF File, 378KB) for more information.
The Government’s Rates Rebate Scheme
You may be eligible for a rates reduction as part of the government's rates rebate scheme, which provides rates assistance to low-income earners.
You can pick up an application form at your city or district council, or find more out about the scheme and whether you are eligible on the Government’s Rates Rebate Scheme website.