How Council uses your rates

Rates generate around half of Council’s income and are used to provide residents with a wide range of essential services and facilities.

When you get your rates account it is divided into several sections. Nelson’s rating system continues to be based on land value, and the general rate is set at a charge per dollar of rateable value for each rating category.

Rates as calculated as a percentage in 2022/23 as compared to prior year
Rate type Percentage
General rate and Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)
Stormwater charge
Wastewater charge
Water charges

General Rate

The general rate this year is 0.34323 cents in the land value dollar, including GST, compared with the previous year’s rate of 0.56582cents.

Commercial rates

Council has adopted a policy that commercial rates are set at a level to collect 22.6% of total rates, excluding water volumetric charges.

Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC)

The UAGC covers charges for services which most residents benefit from irrespective of property value.

This year’s charge is $376.05, which is $53.09less than last year’s charge of $429.14. It is 11% of total rates excluding water charges, and is within the 30% legislated limit.

Stormwater and flood protection

Stormwater and flood protection is a separate targeted rate of $454.43, which is $69.81more than last year’s charge of $384.62.


Another separate targeted rate is levied on all units connected to Council’s wastewater disposal system.

The residential charge will be $564.72 this year, compared to $502.62 last year.

The commercial charge will be $141.18 per separately used or inhabited portion of a rating unit.

Commercial properties also pay wastewater charges based on Council’s Tradewaste Bylaw.

These charges are explained in full in the Long Term Plan.


Water supply charges are a targeted rate based on a fixed daily charge payable by all ratepayers with a water meter. Charges are calculated to cover the costs of the Council water supply system.

The minimum annual charge is $220.69 including GST and there is no free allowance. The cost per cubic metre of water for most users will be $2.295.

Rates payments

Council charges rates in four equal quarterly instalments.

A penalty of 5% is added to each unpaid instalment including water charges. Rates that remain unpaid the following year have a further 5% penalty added on 30 June and 31 December.