Councils are expected to deliver many services and to provide an acceptable level of public amenity for the benefit of all residents. Their main source of revenue is a property tax, commonly known as 'rates'. This tax is based on the assessed value of each property on a fixed date for all rateable properties across the municipal area. The following information will help you to understand your responsibilities as a ratepayer. It also outlines allocations of rates and charges, penalties, and concessions that may affect you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Rates are a tax levied by council. Their purpose is to support the council in providing services for the benefit of all residents. Rates help pay for:
Rates are normally made up of a general rate and a service rate and/or charge. Under certain circumstances, a council may levy a construction rate or charge, or a separate rate.
The rights and responsibilities of ratepayers and councils are set out in Part 9 of the Local Government Act 1993.
A general rate is to be based on one of the following categories of values of land: Land Value, Capital Value or Assessed Annual Value (AAV) of the land. A Council may set a minimum amount payable.
A council may make a general rate whether or not it provides any services to the land upon which the rating is made.
Service rate or charge
A council may make a service rate for any, all, or a combination of the following services:
The service rate for a financial year is to be based on the same category of value of land as the general rate. Councils may set a minimum amount payable for a service rate if it does not include a fixed charge.
Councils may levy a service charge in addition to, or instead of, making a service rate.
A service charge is a fixed charge payable on each property.
Construction Rate and Charge
A construction rate and charge may be set by councils in order to provide the infrastructure currently lacking for stormwater services to land that is more than 30 meters, at the nearest boundary, from the public stormwater system.
A council may make a separate rate or charge in respect of any land or class of land within its municipal area. This may occur where, in Council's opinion, there is a need to plan, carry out, make available, maintain or improve anything on behalf of the affected land, or owners or occupiers of that land.
If a council decides to make a separate rate or charge it must undertake a consultation process with the ratepayers likely to be affected by the making of the rate charge.
A separate rate may only be made for a five year period before it is subject to a review process and further consultation with affected ratepayers.
Generally, owners of land have to pay rates. Occupiers of land may pay the rates in exceptional circumstances. They may do so with the written consent of the owners. If someone other than the owner is paying the rates then the council has to be notified accordingly.
Rates are paid periodically by a due date or dates set by each council. A rates notice is posted to ratepayers, allowing approximately 60 days before payment of the entire amount is due, or, if payment is by instalments, at least 30 days before the first payment is due.
Rates and Charges are required to be paid in full by 30 September each year but in order to receive a discount the Rates and Charges must be paid in full by 31 August each year.
Ratepayers may apply to the Council to pay Rates and Charges by instalments, subject to approved terms and conditions. Arrangements are required to be made by 30 September each year.
A council may allow rates to be paid by instalments instead of in one payment. You should check with council what arrangements are possible and the dates by which instalments are to be paid. These will be notified in a rates notice issued to each ratepayer.
If a ratepayer fails to pay any instalment within 21 days of the date on which the rates are due, the council may require the ratepayer to pay the full amount owing.
Methods of payment are usually outlined on the back of your rates notice and include payment:
An assessed annual valuation is an assessment of the market value of a property, at a specific date and in accordance with legislation. The Valuer-General determines the AAV under the Valuation of Land Act 2001.
It is the gross annual income that, at the time of valuation, the owner of the property might reasonably expect to obtain from letting it to a tenant. The assessed annual value of the land cannot be less than 4% of the capital value of the land.
It is the expected sum of money that might be realised if the land and any existing dwelling or improvements were offered for sale at a particular time. For instance, on a rates notice, it may show land value as $40,000 and capital value as $125,000. The capital value includes the land value plus the value of any buildings on the site.
If you wish to check your rates balance, please contact the Council
The Council allows a 5% discount if all rates and charges on a property are paid in full by 31 August of each year.
Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, a ratepayer may apply to a council for remission of all or part of the rates paid or payable.
To be entitled to apply, the Local Government (Rates and Charges Remissions) Act 1991 requires that a ratepayer must be an eligible pensioner and must occupy the property as his or her principal dwelling on or prior to 1 July of the rating year.
To be an eligible pensioner you must have:
Applications for rates remissions must be received by the council by 31 March of any year in which the rates are calculated.
A ratepayer who is having difficulty in paying rates should contact the Council at the earliest opportunity to arrange a payment schedule that is agreeable both to the Council and the ratepayer. This is essential to avoid the Council taking legal action to recover the outstanding rates.
A ratepayer may also apply to the Council to defer the payment of rates on the grounds of hardship. An application has to be in writing and must be lodged with the Council's General Manager.
A council may grant or refuse a deferral application. Any granted deferral may be subject to a condition that the ratepayer pay interest on the amount due.
If a ratepayer does not pay the rates on his or her property a council may commence legal action against the ratepayer to recover the outstanding amount. If a council takes such legal action the ratepayer may also be liable for the council's legal costs associated with the action.
If rates are not paid for a period exceeding three years, the Council may sell a property or part of a property to recover the unpaid rates. The Council can sell it by public auction or by direct sale.
If the owner of a property cannot be found, the Council may apply to have that property transferred to the Council.
Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, the following Rates and Charges be and are made for the year ending 30 June 2016:
1 General Rate
(a) A General Rate of 8.43 cents-in-the-dollar based on the assessed-annual-value and is payable on all rateable land within the Central Coast municipal area, but shall only be payable in so far as the sum payable under such rate exceeds a minimum amount of $260.00 otherwise payable in respect of that rate.
2 Service Rates and Charges
(a) A Fire Protection Service Rate of 0.405 cents-in-the-dollar based on the assessed-annual-value and is payable in respect of all rateable land within the Penguin Urban Fire District and the Ulverstone Urban Fire District, but shall only be payable in so far as the sum payable under such rate exceeds a minimum amount of $38.00 otherwise payable in respect of that rate.
(b) A Fire Protection Service Rate of 0.405 cents-in-the-dollar based on the assessed-annual-value and is payable in respect of all rateable land within the Forth/Leith Country Fire Brigade District, the Heybridge Country Fire Brigade District and the Turners Beach Country Fire Brigade District, but shall only be payable in so far as the sum payable under such rate exceeds a minimum amount of $38.00 otherwise payable in respect of that rate.
(c) A Fire Protection Service Rate of 0.395 cents-in-the-dollar based on the assessed-annual-value and is payable in respect of all rateable land outside the Forth/Leith Country Fire Brigade District, the Heybridge Country Fire Brigade District, the Penguin Urban Fire District, the Ulverstone Urban Fire District and the Turners Beach Country Fire Brigade District, but shall only be payable in so far as the sum payable under such rate exceeds a minimum amount of $38.00 otherwise payable in respect of that rate.
(d) A Waste Management Service Charge of $186.00 for each tenement is payable in respect of all rateable land to which there is a supplying, or making available, of waste management services.
(a) All Rates and Charges shall be payable in one payment on or before the 30th day of September, 2015.
4 Discount for early payment
(a) A discount of 5% is offered to all ratepayers for payment of Rates and Charges in total on or before the 31st day of August, 2015 provided that no such discount shall be offered if there are at any time any arrears of Rates and Charges owing.
5 Supplementary Valuation Rate
(a) If a supplementary valuation is made of any land prior to 30 June 2016 the Council may adjust the amount payable in respect of any rate for that land for the 2015-2016 financial year.
(b) If an adjusted rate is made of any land, a rate notice must be issued by the General Manager, with the amount shown as credited or payable on that notice due to be paid within 30 days of the date on which that notice issued.
For the purposes of this resolution:
(a) ‘tenement’ being rateable land for which a waste management service is supplied or is made available, includes: each separate residential use on that rateable land including each lot or block of land, each house, moveable dwelling unit, flat, home unit or self-contained holiday apartment or holiday unit located on the rateable land.