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Rates: funding essential services in the community

The majority of the council’s activities to provide essential services, facilities and infrastructure are funded by the rates contribution made by Selwyn residents each year. This contribution is made up of a combination of general rate and targeted rates. Other sources of funding include fees and charges, development contributions, subsidies and grants.

Visit Your Rates to find out more about your current rates charges, including how your rates dollar is spent.

Visit Rating Types for more information on the different types of rates.

Find out whether you might be eligible for the Rebates Scheme

Rates for 2020/21 financial year

The average rates increase across the district in 2020/21, compared to the previous year, is approximately 1.6%. This is a reduction from the 3.5% increase originally proposed in the Draft Annual Plan, and follows consultation with the community over options for reducing the level of rates increase in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1.6% rates increase is an average across the district, and the actual increase will vary according to different property types and the services provided. The range of increases is expected to vary between 1.4% for urban residential properties and 3.2% for some larger rural properties.

The Council identified net savings of $1.7 million which will contribute to reducing the level of the rates increase. The Council has deferred a number of projects, including the planned Prebbleton Community Centre, and streamlined some planning work. The Council’s Chief Executive and Mayor have both taken salary reductions, while staff numbers and salaries have been capped at current levels, with the exception of staff required to operate new facilities, once completed.

The Council has also put in place a rates assistance package to help people affected by COVID-19, including an extended rates payment period and no penalty fees.

Our objectives for rates are to:

  • Provide a fair and equitable rating system for the Selwyn District.
  • Ensure that all ratepayers make an equitable and reasonable contribution to the cost of the available services.
  • Ensure, as far as is practicable, that the distribution of costs amongst the various groups of ratepayers reflects the available services.
  • Ensure that the rating system is flexible enough to address any special circumstances within separately defined areas.

Our Policy

Rates and charges will be charged as per relevant legislation, with consideration to any relevant High Court decisions. Charges will relate to our aims and objectives for an equitable rating base.


The rating system provides for the net funding requirement of the Council’s programme as stated in the annual budget.

Rating By Instalments

Rates are payable in four instalments. You may choose to pay the whole years rates in one sum, by the due date of the second instalment. Whole-year payments made after this date may incur additional penalty charges.

Additional Charges

Additional charges for late payment are set at the start of the rating year. They apply for the full rating year from 1 July to 30 June. For the 2019/20 rating year an additional charge of 3% will be added to each instalment which is not paid by its due date. A further penalty will be added to all unpaid rates as at 1 July.

Additional charges may be refunded in accordance with the following criteria:

  • All applications must be in writing.
  • All rates must be paid in full, as a general rule, before a refund is considered.
  • Refunds will generally be given where late payment has arisen due to sickness, death, age or other acceptable genuine reasons.
  • Removal of second and subsequent additional charges may happen where satisfactory arrangements are in place for regular payment of arrears.
  • Refunds of penalties will be treated on a case by case basis.

Environment Canterbury

The Council acts as agent for the collection of rates for Environment Canterbury who determine their own rate levels and policies.