Christchurch City Council has welcomed Central Government's adoption of new legislation that allows rates to be reassessed during the rating year.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the Council lobbied for the change so that city rates would better reflect the situation of ratepayers.
"Basically, the new rules mean that when a house is demolished we can reduce the rates almost immediately, and when a new house is built we can increase the rates accordingly. The old rules didn't allow us to do this - we had to wait until the new financial year before adjusting rates," Mayor Parker says.
The Order in Council announced by Central Government this week means rates can be adjusted within a financial year if a house is demolished, new building is completed, or land is subdivided.
Mayor Parker says this allows the Council to better respond to changes to city properties as earthquake demolitions and rebuilds progress.
"Thousands of demolitions and rebuilds will be carried out in Christchurch in coming years and it makes sense that the rates we charge actually reflect the status of the property," Mayor Parker says.
Ordinarily, once rates are assessed for a property on 1 July each year they can not be changed, irrespective of any change to that property. So if a house existed on 1 July but was demolished on 2 July, the property owner would still have to pay the full year's rates on the house.
The Canterbury Earthquake Rating Order 2012 means that once a building has been demolished the Council can reduce rates for the property to land value from the first day of the following month. Equally, once a building is completed and the occupants begin to use Council services they will be rated on the full value of the property.
Should your property be demolished, subdivided, or building completed during the year you will receive a property valuation notice from Council's valuers and a revised rates assessment from the Council.