Your rates ensure we can deliver community services, maintain and improve facilities, and enforce various laws and regulations. Your rates fund a wide variety of services, including:
Who decides how much I have to pay?
Each Council determines its own revenue policy based on the combination of rates, fees and charges needed to fund community services. Rates can be calculated in one of three ways, based on:
- the land value of your property
- a combination of the land value of your property and a fixed amount per property
- entirely on the land value, subject to a minimum amount.
How is my land valued?
Every three to four years, the NSW Valuer General values land in accordance with the Valuation of Land Act 1916. The latest valuation was conducted on 1 July 2014.
Your Land Value - A Brief Guide to the Land Valuation Process (pdf. 666KB)
I don’t agree with the value of my property
You have 60 days to submit an objection form to the NSW Valuer General. You will still have to pay rates while your objection is considered.
The Valuer General will advise you in writing of the outcome of your objection. If you still don't agree with the valuation, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court.
For more information visit the Land and Property Information website or phone 1800 110 038.
How is my property categorised?
Each parcel of land falls within one of four categories for rating purposes:
We decide which category your property is in based on its characteristics and use. Most people are charged ordinary rates under the residential category.
I don't agree with my property's categorisation
Contact us to request a review. If you still don't agree with the categorisation following the review, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court within 30 days of receiving our review decision.
Can I find out how much I have to pay before receiving my rates notice?
Before final amounts are fixed, council prepares a draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan which includes the proposed revenue policy for the following year. The draft plan is made available for public comment and includes details of all rates and charges we propose to levy.
I object to the rates and charges Council proposes
The draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan must be made available to the public so residents have the opportunity to provide feedback. This is your chance to raise any questions or concerns about rates and charges for the following financial year. This usually happens in April or May each year. Council considers all submissions before making any changes and adopting the plan. Once rates and charges have been adopted, they cannot be changed until the next financial year.
What is rate pegging?
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets out the amount councils can increase rates in line with inflation and other factors. For 2015/2016, this rise is 2.4 per cent. Only certain rates and charges are subject to these limitations.
Can Council increase its income by more than the rate peg limit?
Yes. Councils can apply to IPART for a special variation. Councils must advise of their intention to apply for a special variation in the draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan and consider any submissions received from the public. If approved, IPART will specify the percentage by which the council may increase its general income.
Do I have to pay a domestic waste management service charge if I don't use the service?
Yes. The Local Government Act 1993 requires councils to levy an annual charge for domestic waste management services on all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used. All property owners should contribute to the current and future provision of waste services.
I'm a pensioner. Am I eligible for a concession or rebate on rates?
Yes. To be eligible, you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government. You can only claim a concession on your property if it is the sole or principal place you live.
Read more on rates rebates
How can I apply for a pensioner concession?
You need to complete a pensioner concession application form. Contact us to obtain a copy.
Does the concession amount increase with inflation or rate increases?
No. The amounts are fixed.
What if I can't afford to pay my rates?
We may be able to assist by agreeing to alternative payment plans or writing off interest on unpaid rates. If you're having difficulty paying your rates, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Is anyone exempt from paying rates?
Some parcels of land are exempt from rates and charges, including land within a national park or land that belongs to a school or religious group. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Local Government Act 1993, you are not exempt from paying rates.