What are rates and how are they set?

Rates are an annual charge against a property set by Council in July of each year. Rates help us to fund the services we provide. 

Rates are based on:

  • the use of the property (e.g. residential/commercial)
  • the rating valuation of the property
  • the number of Separately Used or Inhabited Parts (SUIPs) of the property
  • the availability of services to the property (e.g. water, wastewater, refuse collection)
  • the location of the property if it is commercial (i.e. in the CBD or outside the CBD)

Council operates different rating categories. Different rates apply to the different categories:

  • residential
  • commercial (outside the CBD)
  • BID commercial (in the CBD)
  • other 
  • service use (church/educational/community)
  • sporting/cultural.

How does the 2023/24 average rates increase of 4.9% affect me?

The rates increase of 4.9% was set in our 2021-31 Long-Term plan.

Rates for most properties will have increased by close to 4.9%.

Your rates may have changed by more than the 4.9% average if the use of your property has changed, or you've recently completed some building works.

Your rates unravelled

Rates help pay for a whole lot of council services. If you're a property owner you'll pay rates, or if you rent your home, you're still helping someone pay their rates. Find out about what’s included in your rates bill, and what other funding sources are available to Council.

Where council gets its money from

Where do my rates go?

Your rates support a number of services essential to keep Hamiltonians healthy, safe and happy, such as:

  • water management
  • rubbish and recycling
  • burials and cemeteries 
  • city planning and safety 
  • transport 
  • democracy 
  • parks and recreation 
  • arts and community groups.

A visual breakdown of what your rates fund is included in your rates invoice.

What do rates cost?

How and when to pay?

Rates are invoiced in four instalments for the financial year that begins 1 July and ends 30 June the following year.

You can choose to receive your rates invoice by email and you can pay your rates by direct debit, credit card, internet banking or in person. 

Pay in quarterly instalments by the due dates below, or annually in full. Paying by direct debit also allows you to pay in weekly, fortnightly, or monthly instalments. The full amount is detailed on the invoice to 30 June and will include any outstanding rates and penalties.

Pay your rates by the due date to avoid penalties. Your invoice will be posted or emailed around four to five weeks before they’re due.

Upcoming rates due dates:

  • 2023/24 Instalment 1  31 August 2023
  • 2023/24 Instalment 2  23 November 2023
  • 2023/24 Instalment 3  22 February 2024
  • 2023/24 Instalment 4  23 May 2024.


Related pages

Apply for a rates rebate

Find out if you are eligible for a rates rebate and how to apply.

Related information


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Last updated 9 June 2022