Rates for forestry vs other land uses raised again

Friday 21 May 2021

Gisborne's mayor says the tool used to rate forestry blocks is not realistic, while the deputy mayor says the district council is “hamstrung” on legislation. Gisborne District Council wants the Valuer General to address “growing disparities” between the rating valuation of forestry land and other land uses, and has been backed by Wairoa District Council.

As NZ farms rapidly turn to forests, Gisborne councillors say “very low land valuations” of forestry properties result in other ratepayers unfairly carrying the rates burden.

But Eastland Wood Council (EWC) says it is not fair to single out forestry and to assume all forestry is the same. It says councillors should be calling on the Valuer General to look at mechanisms that ensure “fairness, transparency and stability” for all landowners, irrespective of industry.

Forestry properties are rated on land value, which does not include the value of the trees or other property improvements like roads. Figures in a GDC report that came before councillors last month, showed over time the rateable land value of pastoral land more than halved after being turned to forestry.

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Source: Gisborne Herald

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