How we set your rates

Southland District Council’s Annual Plan or Long Term Plan lays out work for the year ahead, how much this will cost, and the total amount of rates needed to pay for it.

Rates can be based on the rating value of the property. Some are charged as a fixed dollar amount to all properties, such as the general rate referred to as the Uniform Annual General Charge. Some are targeted rates charges to an individual property will depend on its use and its geographical location, relative to the Council infrastructure network and rubbish collection area.

The Council collects several different types of rates, see the back of your rates assessment or do a rates search on our website to see the rate types.

How we value properties

Under both the Rating Valuations Act 1998 and the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, the Council is required to value all properties for rating purposes.

A rating valuation (or capital valuation) reflects the property's market value on the date of the valuation. It does not include chattels (e.g. carpets, drapes, light fittings), stock, crops, machinery or trees.

Valuations are made up of :

  1. land value – the probable price that would be paid for the bare land. It includes work such as drainage, excavations, and retaining walls
  2. improvement value – this is simply the difference between the overall capital value and the vacant land value. It represents how much additional market value has been added by the improvements, but it does not indicate the actual cost or insurance value of the buildings or landscaping. Our valuations are done for us by Quotable Value, a specialist valuation firm which provides valuation services to most local councils across the country.

2021 rating valuations

We must update our rating valuations every three years – the current 2021 values will be used to calculate your rates from 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2025. Until then, your rates will be calculated based on the 2021 valuations.

The next revaluation will be in 2024. If you build a new house before then, its rating valuation will still be based on market prices as of 1 August 2021 to ensure that the rates system is fair (i.e. so you do not pay extra just because of house price inflation since 1 August 2021).

Importantly, rating valuations do not affect how much we collect in rates – they only affect how much of our total rates income is paid for by each property. For example, a large investor owning (say) 2% of the whole district should pay around 2% of our total rates; if market values change over time so that the same investor now owns (say) 3% of the whole district, they should now pay around 3% of our total rates and everyone else should pay a bit less.
The total amount of rates income we need is set each year through our annual planning process and is not related to any changes in market valuations.

While we do our best to ensure information is correct and regularly updated, errors in the data and its completeness may occur. If you find a problem email us on

Valuations and insurance

Rating values should not be used to calculate the replacement value for insurance purposes. An estimate of replacement value usually includes demolition and consent costs associated with rebuilding. Such costs are not included in a rating valuation.