FAQs

If you can't find the answer you're looking for free phone 0508 800 800 or email help@horizons.govt.nz

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Property & Rates

I have always paid a general rate but their year it is showing a zero amount?

We made interest on investments which means there is no general rate for 2018-19 rates.

Property & Rates

I live in Ashhurst why am I now paying a Lower Manawatu - Special Project Scheme?

In 2017 Ashhurst residents asked Horizons to intervene with the progressive loss of the part of the Ashhurst Domain that fronts the Manawatu River, stemming back to the June 2015 floods. As a result this special project is to help pay back the loan. For 2018/19 year this equates to $8.44 per $100,000 of capital value for the Ashhurst rate payer.

Property & Rates

Is the Victoria Avenue Development owned by Horizons?

It is owned by MWRC Holdings which is owned by Horizons. As part of our investment portfolio this will eventually off set rates.

Property & Rates

What is the Capital Connection?

The Capital Connection is a passenger rail service which runs between Palmerston North and Wellington.

Property & Rates

What is the Reid Line Floodway and why has it's rate increased?

The Reid line floodway is located on the outskirts of Feilding township. During flood events it is used to divert flood flows away from the township. We have identified a need to make improvements to this floodway so that flood flows can be diverted more frequently, and enlarge its capacity to provide Feilding with a 200 year return period flood protection standard. This will require the purchase of some of or all of the   private land in the floodway, recontour the floodway to remove the stream culverts that pass through the floodway stopbank, and increase the stopbank height. This proposal complements work that the Manawatu District Council have underway, re-zoning rural land between Feilding and the floodway for residential development and allowing Feilding to continue to grow.

Property & Rates

Why am I now paying rates towards a new Matarawa Scheme?

Horizons staff and contractors are currently clearing the section of the Matarawa Stream that passes through Whanganui, as part of our response to the June 2015 flood event. This reach of the stream was specifically excluded from the Matarawa Scheme when it was first established and accordingly the work currently underway is being funded from general reserves.  We are proposing to spread the cost of repaying the loan over the Whanganui urban area, retaining a smaller maintenance rate once the loan is repaid.

Property & Rates

Why am I now paying rates towards a new Tararua District-wide Scheme?

We have dissolved the Akitio, Eastern Manawatu and Ihuraua Schemes and created a district- wide Tararua River Management (TRM) Scheme.  Previous contributors to these schemes will now pay the district-wide TRM scheme rate instead, as budgeted in the Long-term Plan, and therefore there is no rate increase to previous contributors.  However, for all other ratepayers in the district, the TRM Scheme rate is a new rate and new level of service.

Property & Rates

Why am I paying for drinking water?

The recent enquiry into the contamination of the Havelock North public water supply has highlighted a number of areas for improvement in the management of public water supplies throughout New Zealand. To ensure the relevant agencies are meeting their requirements regarding the protection of drinking water quality, Horizons is working in consultation with local public health officers and territorial authorities to improve overall management of drinking water supplies. The cost to the rate payer $1.06 (GST inclusive).

Property & Rates

Can I get a discount on my rates?

Yes, for this rating year 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019.
 
If all rates owing (this includes arrears, penalty and current) are paid in full by the due date 28 September 2018, a discount of 3% will be allowed on the current rates. The discount applies to the current year only. The 2018-2019 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 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 700 800.
 
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 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 $34.31 has been applied to properties over 4 hectares in size, and a $9.23 charge for those under 4 hectares. 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

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

What do I get for my rates money?

Our Region is diverse and the hazards, pests and risks faced within it can vary from place to place. However, most activities have some benefit to all in the community.

For this reason, a portion of your rates bill is general shared rates, which go towards those services that benefit everyone.

To find out specifically where your rates are going, please check the classification codes, typically on the second page of your annual invoice.
 

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 28 September 2018. 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 $45.42 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 ($38.93) per property throughout the Region, Totara Reserve our only regional park ($4.29) per Palmerston North and per Manawatū properties and environmental initiatives ($21.34) on each rateable property throughout the region.
 
SUIP:
A suip is a 'Separately Used or Inhabited Part' of a rating unit and is only recognised when there is a 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 2017-18 UAC 2018-19 UAC
Up to and including $250,000 $1.92 $2.38
Greater than $250,000 up to and including $500,000 $3.84 $4.76
Greater than $500,000 up to and including $1,000,000 $5.76 $7.14
Greater than $1,000,000 $24.93 $30.92

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 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 do I pay a House Flood rate ($494.77) when my neighbours don't and we both pay rates towards the Lower Manawatu Scheme?

Since the 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 50mm 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/Shirriffs 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 we need Freshwater Management?

Freshwater is a high priority for both central government, and our communities.  Our freshwater and partnerships programme aims to protect and enhance water quality and aquatic habitat, including through partnerships with landowners, iwi and external agencies.

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 have my Whanganui Scheme rates increased?

The Lower Whanganui River infrastructure is in relatively poor condition which poses a risk. This  matter was highlighted by the Port Revitalisation project.  The lower reach of the river has now been added to the areas of responsibility covered by the Whanganui Scheme. This includes covering inspection maintenance of this infrastructure and manage the alignment of the lower reach of the river, including the moles located at the river mouth.

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.