FAQs

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Property & Rates

Can I get a discount on my rates?

Yes, for this rating year 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018.
 
If all rates owing (this includes arrears, penalty and current) are paid in full by the due date 29 September 2017, a discount of 3% will be allowed on the current rates. The discount applies to the current year only.  The 2017 -2018 discount does not apply to any rates still owed from previous years, therefore to receive the discount on your current rates the total balance needs to be paid in full before or on the due date.

Property & Rates

How can I start a payment arrangement?

Payment arrangements can be made by emailing us at help@horizons.govt.nz or giving our friendly Customer Services team a toll-free call on 0508 800 800.
Alternatively you can download and complete a direct debit form from our website and post it to us at the following address:
Private Bag 11025
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
 

Property & Rates

How will I know what the discounted amount is?

The discount amount and the discounted balance will be clearly shown on the rates notice.  The discounted amount will be withdrawn after the due date and the discount will no longer be reflected on your property’s account.

Property & Rates

I am confused who is paying for what regarding possum control?

The situation in relation to possum control is as follows:

On this year’s invoice we have split this rate into two lines called ‘AHB TB Vector Funding’ and ‘Pest Animal Management’ to provide you clarity for what you are paying for. The Animal Health Board (AHB) has the specific mandate to eradicate Bovine TB which is spread mainly by possums.  We collect a levy on their behalf in properties over 4 hectares.

However, Horizons will still carry out possum control activities in rural areas to maintain the gains made by the Animal Health Board (AHB).  In addition, we will also focus on the problems that possums pose to the environment – be it rural or urban.  In other words, the two programmes complement each other.  That’s why everyone in the Region makes a contribution from their rates to possum control, either by per hectare rate or the general rate.

Property & Rates

I can't afford to pay my rates - what can I do?

If you are having difficulty paying your rates we may be able to enter into a payment arrangement with you.  Please contact the Horizons rates team for all payment arrangement options.  If your request for a payment arrangement is successful and the payments do not default then a remission of penalty will be applied if required.  Please phone free phone 0508 800 800.
 
Direct Debit
You may pay by direct debit that offers annual, quarterly, monthly and fortnightly payment options.  A form can be sent to you by our customer services team or you can download the direct debit form.    
 
 
Automatic payments
Automatic payments can be set up in two ways:
Request a form from our customer services team, complete it and then pass it onto your bank to set up.
Ring us on free phone 0508 800 800 to work out how much per chosen frequency you need to pay, and then set us up as a new automatic payment through your internet banking.If payments aren’t made, or not enough is being paid to have completed the full invoice by the end of the current financial year (30 June), the remission of penalty will not be applied. 

Property & Rates

I don't use buses why should I pay for them?

Having a bus service available gives people an option for transport and means fewer cars on the road and an environmentally friendly transport solution.  It can also be a cost effective way of getting to and from town, work or between towns.

Property & Rates

I don't want my name and address showing on your Rate Information Database (RID)

Horizons can send you a name suppression form to complete so we can remove your details.  This needs to be applied for each year.  Please note that no names or postal address show on the RID which is the rates database on our website.  You can also download a copy of the suppression form here.

Property & Rates

I have always paid rates towards the Taringamotu Scheme, why is it showing a zero amount this year?

During the annual plan process rate payers from this scheme requested this to be wound up.  The scheme line cannot be removed until the Long- Term Plan next year.  At this time the rate will be removed.

Property & Rates

My house was flooded in the July 2017 storm event, can I get a flood remission on my rates?

This is a decision that must be made by our Councillors. Please write or email Kathie Robinson, rates coordinator, kathie.robinson@horizons.govt.nz. Include any photos of the affected areas that were flooded. This will be compiled and passed onto Council for their consideration. 

Property & Rates

My rates bill has increased this year because my property value has increased, why?

Horizons has a system which deals with most rises and falls in property values and this works.  However, in a few cases where property prices rise significantly more than other properties, yes your rates will go up.  The Council has no say in this matter and any concerns you have need to be taken up with Quotable Value – the government agency that sets the rateable value of your property.  

Property & Rates

I live in the Rangitikei District and don't understand what I am paying for to get rid of Old Man's Beard?

Old Man’s Beard has been identified as a particular problem by the local Rangitikei community and as result a ‘Differentiated Uniform Annual Charge of $45.34 has been applied to properties over 4 hectares in size and a $5.55 charge for those under 4 hectare’s.  In areas where Old Man’s Beard has become a problem we work with relevant community groups, and aim to stop it spreading further.  Outside these areas we will try to eradicate it whenever it appears. 

Property & Rates

What happens if I don't pay my rates?

All property owners are required by law to pay their rates.  The final day for payment for all rates is the 29 September 2017. If rates are not paid in full, or a payment arrangement is not in place with Horizons, penalties will be charged at the end of October.  Please refer the back of your rate notice for more information.

Property & Rates

What is a river or drainage scheme rate? How are they calculated?

A Scheme Rate varies according to the benefit received from stop banks, pump stations, drainage systems and other flood protection facilities.  The higher the risk of flooding to your property, the higher rate you pay as you receive greater benefit from the protection.  If you live further from a waterway, you still pay for the benefits of flood-protected roads, shops and services, but at a lower rate.

Property & Rates

What is a 'targeted rate'?

Targeted Rates are for a particular activity or project that benefits specific ratepayers, for example pest plant and pest animal control.  These are also referred to as biodiversity rates.

Property & Rates

What is a Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)?

The UAGC funds a large range of activities from which every ratepayer benefits equally.  It is a fixed rate that is applied to every rateable property in the Region.  The UAGC this year is set at $41 per rateable property.

Property & Rates

What is Accelerate25?

Accelerate25 is the implementation programme which has grown from the Central Government commissioned Regional Growth Study. The study identified a number of opportunities and key enablers to help realise our Region’s economic potential. The aim of Accelerate25 is to grow our regional prosperity between now and 2025 and an Action Plan to unlock the opportunities was launched in August 2016. To find out more about Accelerate25 visit www.accelerate25.co.nz

Property & Rates

What is an Uniform Annual Charge (UAC)?

These are a fixed rate applied to ratepayers who benefit from a specific type of work.  It is not assessed on capital value like the general rate.  Uniform annual charges include SLUI ($38.33) per property throughout the Region, Totara Reserve our only regional park ($4.23) per Palmerston North and per Manawatu properties and environmental initiatives ($20.57) on each rateable property throughout the Region.
 
Uniform = SUIP
Where ‘uniform’ appears on the invoice it means a charge for each “separate or inhabited as part of a Rating Unit (SUIP). A SUIP is a separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit” (SUIP).   A SUIP is a separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit and is only recognised when there is unique valuation number for that part of the rating unit.

Property & Rates

What is meant by equalisation?

District and city councils revalue at different times across the Region.  These revaluations affect the capital value of properties and, hence how much general rate they pay.  Each year Horizons obtains an equalisation certificate from Quotable Value that shows the value of all districts as at the last revaluation date.  This information is used to equally spread the rates allocated by capital value among the districts. 

Revaluations
All properties in the Region are re-valued on a 3-yearly cycle.  If your property has had a revalue this year it will mean the value on which your property is rated will have changed and this will have affected the rates you pay on a capital value as properties do not uniformly move in value within a district.
 

Property & Rates

What is the Manawatu River Leaders' Accord?

Led by Horizons, the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord brings together leaders from community, industry, interest groups, iwi and local government in their efforts to improve the state of the Manawatū River and its catchment.  It enables groups to work in partnership with one another, sets clear goals and provides accountability around clean-up actions and activities.  Horizons contribute $410,000 per year to this clean-up effort under the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord.  This is funded by ratepayers in the Manawatū Catchment.  More information about this work can be found at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.

Property & Rates

What is the meaning of Classifications?

Classifications are the codes given to the descriptions in the rating lines on your invoice, shown on page 3. Rate classification codes are available to download here.

Property & Rates

What is the Transport rate?

Everyone pays a Transport Rate that goes towards land transport planning and road safety.  Ratepayers who have public transport and Total Mobility services available in their area contribute to this through the Transport Rate.

Property & Rates

What is this new Infrastructure Reserve rate and why am I paying it?

Following an increase in natural hazards, insurance costs have increased dramatically. It has been very difficult for us to obtain insurance for our river and drainage scheme assets, so  we decided to partially self insure these assets. The Infrastructure Insurance Reserve Rate will strengthen our financial position and help us self insure our extensive but vital scheme assets. 

The rate is being paid on a per property basis with the amount a property pays depending on its capital value.  The bands of rates are:
 

Property Value 2016-17 UAC 2017-18 UAC
Up to and including $250,000 $1.94 $1.92
Greater than $250,000 up to and including $500,000 $3.88 $3.84
Greater than $500,000 up to and including $1,000,000 $5.80 $5.76
Greater than $1,000,000 $25.09 $24.93

This money will be held in reserve and used to keep debt levels lower (to enable sufficient borrowing room in the event of a flood or earthquake.)  The need to rate for this reserve will be reviewed each year during the annual plan process.  Every three years during our Long-term Plan process we will also review the need to hold onto the reserve balance.

 

Property & Rates

Who decides Horizons' activities?

Horizons has certain responsibilities mandated on it from Central Government.  We also actively consult with the community to ensure we represent the wishes of our ratepayers and utilise ratepayers’ money in ways the community will benefit the most from.

Property & Rates

Who gets a rates bill from Horizons?

Everyone who owns a property in Horizons Region will get an annual rates invoice from Horizons.

Property & Rates

Why am I paying for the Weed Harvester?

Improving the water quality of Lake Horowhenua has been a key focus for Horizons and the Horowhenua community for a number of years now. Within reports undertaken by NIWA, harvesting of weed within the Lake has been identified as a key action to improve water quality.
 
At the end of 2014, Horizons purchased a weed harvester, with the aid of funding from the Ministry for the Environment, as part of the Freshwater Clean Up Fund package for Lake Horowhenua. Work has been underway over several years to establish the regulatory permissions to underwater this lake restoration activity. Consents have now been obtained and work is underway to enable the weed harvesting to start in Spring of 2018. A range of other lake restoration activities has been undertaken around the lake as a part of the Lake Horowhenua Accord.
 
Council agreed in the 2015-25 Long-term Plan to fund operating costs by two means.   A Uniform Annual Charge from Horowhenua ratepayers will contribute 80 per cent of the costs as a targeted rate, and a Water Quality and Quantity Rate from all ratepayers in the Region will make up the remaining 20 per cent. We are also looking at potentially using the harvester in other lakes across the Region.

Property & Rates

Why do I pay a House Flood rate ($545.42) when my neighbours don't and we both pay rates towards the Lower Manawatu Scheme?

Since the new LMS rating system was adopted in June 2009, Council has received a number of submissions in respect of the fairness of application of the HF category rate.  Through the 2010-11 Annual Plan process, Council adopted some changes which resulted in a number of properties being removed from the HF category.  Essentially these were:
 
1. All those rural houses that receive flood protection from the LMS but where the depth of inundation in a 100-year flood would be less than 50 mm have been exempted from the HF rate.
 
2. The Feilding urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area immediately to the North of Feilding that is presently being developed as an extension to the urban area.  By being shifted into the urban category, houses in that extension area will no longer pay the HF rate, but will now pay the lesser Feilding urban (FG) rate.
 
3. The Palmerston North urban flood protection rating boundary has been modified to include an area to the West of the City between Longburn-Rongotea/Shiriiffs Road and the Mangaone Stream and between No. 1 Line and the Manawatu River.  That area is rapidly developing as an extension to the present City urban area.  By being shifted into the urban category, houses in that developing area will no longer pay the HF rate but will now pay the lesser Palmerston North urban (PN) rate.

All other rural houses (777 of them) will continue to be rated in the HF category.

Property & Rates

Why do I get a rates bill from my city/district council and Horizons?

Horizons is a completely separate organisation to your city/district council.  City or district councils are responsible for community services in your area such as road maintenance, libraries, recreation areas and land use.
Horizons are your Regional council and manage the natural resources such as land and water across several city and district council territories.  We are also responsible for emergency management in conjunction with Civil Defence, and provide public transport services to many of our communities.

We have only been sending out rates directly to ratepayers since 2002. Prior to 2002, Horizons rates were collected on our behalf by the city and district councils.  We made the change to direct rating because we believe that you need to know more about how your money is spent.

 

Property & Rates

Why does Horizons put out a rates brochure?

Horizons believes that it is important that you have a clear understanding of what your rates pay for and the benefits that you receive, and we’ve had feedback that more communication is desired.  Every council in the country does this and it is part of our philosophy of being open and up front about what we do.  Our Rates Explained brochure is printed on environmentally sustainable paper to minimise any impact on the environment. We encourage you to recycle this brochure if you do not wish to keep it for future reference.

Property & Rates

Why have I received separate invoices for each of my properties?

Customers with more than 5 invoices request to receive one invoice for all properties which also means only one payment will need to be made.
 

Property & Rates

Why haven't I received a rates bill?

If you have recently bought or sold the property the required details may not have been forwarded to Horizons.  If you have changed your postal address and forgotten to tell us please do so.  We will then issue you with a copy or a new rates notice.

Property & Rates

Why is Horizons' General Rate based on Capital Value?

General rates of regional councils may be made on either a land value or capital value basis.  We were directed to use the capital value system by the Local Government (Manawatu-Wanganui Region) Reorganisation Order 1989, which established the Council.  The Local Government Commission considered the different rating systems during the process of forming the Reorganisation Order and their decision was for the capital system.
 
Other Councils in our area:

  • Palmerston North City Council - Land Value
  • Manawatu District Councill - Capital Value
  • Whanganui District Council - Land Value
  • Horowhenua District Council - Land Value
  • Tararua District Council - Land Value
  • Ruapehu District Council - Land Value
  • Rangitikei District Council - Capital Value
  • Part Waitomo - Capital Value
  • Part Taupo - Capital Value
  • Part Stratford - Capital Value

Property & Rates

Why is Horizons involved with regional economic growth?

On behalf of the community, Horizons has made a commitment towards regional economic growth and prosperity, through the Accelerate25 programme, with funding for coordinating and facilitating the programme to come from a mix of annual rates ($1 per property) and reserves as of this year. Horizons coordinate the Accelerate25 programme in conjunction with district and city councils and Central Government. Through the 2018 Long-term Plan process Horizons will consult with the community as to whether we continue this commitment.

Property & Rates

Why is my invoice two pages?

The purpose of the two page invoice is to give you more information about what services and benefits that you receive for your rates.  In the past you have received very little basic information and there have been complaints about this, so the two page invoice is in direct response to requests for more information. The majority of the information provided within your invoice is legislatively required, and therefore cannot be removed.