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Last Updated
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rates FAQs

What are rates?

Rates are fees levied on the unimproved land value of properties within a Council's area and are the major source of income for councils.

Why do I pay rates?

The funds generated through rates and charges pays for essential services within the local government area.

Some of these services provided by Council are listed below:

  • Health inspections of food premises
  • Dog/Pest Control for the Amenity of the area
  • Regulation and inspections to ensure fire safety and building standards are met
  • Public Health and Waste Education
  • Strategic Planning and planning control of Traffic movement, sign posting, safety and transport integration
  • Provision of street lighting
  • Maintenance of roads in usable condition
  • Provision of Bus Shelters and other public seating
  • Provision of Parking Stations, parking areas and control of illegal parking
  • Provision of park areas & swimming pools for the benefit of the area
  • Street cleansing and clearing of litter
  • Monitoring and approval of Development Applications and Building applications
  • Regulation of subdivisions
  • Environmental planning and pollution control
  • Provision of emergency services, safety and security
  • Provision of Libraries, community facilities, sporting and health facilities
  • Drainage design, maintenance and management

When are my rates due?

Option 1: Payment in Full

If you are making a single payment for the full year's rates and charges, your payment is due on or before 31 August each financial year.

Option 2: Payment by Quarterly Instalments

The payment dates and amounts for each instalment are shown on your Rate Notice.
Council will send you an instalment notice for the second, third and fourth instalments, approximately 1 month before the payment is required.

The payment dates for each instalment are as follows:

1st Instalment 31 August
2nd Instalment 30 November
3rd Instalment 28 February
4th Instalment 31 May

Please note, ratepayers are not prevented under this option from paying more than one instalment.

What happens if I pay late?

Please ensure your payment reaches us by the Payment Date shown on your notice, if your quarterly payment is not paid in full by the due date you may have to pay interest on the amount owing.

The interest charge is simple interest calculated daily. The interest rate is prescribed to Council annually by the Division of Local Government. The current interest rate can be found on your Rate Notice.

If your rates remaining outstanding Council may take further action to recover the debt and additional charges may be passed on to you.

What if I'm having trouble paying my rates?

If you are having difficulty paying your rates account you may enter into an arrangement with Council to make periodic payments. Please note interest charges will however still apply.
Contact  Council's Rates Department on 02 9879 9435 for more information.

Am I eligible for a pensioner rebate?

To become an eligible pensioner you must be liable for the rates and charges on a property.

This property will need to be your sole or principal residence and you must have a current pensioner concession card.

A valid pensioner concession card will need to be issued by Centrelink or under the following circumstances by the Department of Veteran's Affairs:

  • you are a widow or widower of a member of the Australian Defence or Peacekeeping Forces, or
  • you are the unmarried mother of a deceased unmarried member of either of those forces, or
  • you are a widowed mother of a deceased unmarried member of either of those forces, or
  • you are a TPI under the Veterans'' Entitlement Act, 1986, or
  • you receive a general rate of pension adjusted for extreme disablement under section 22 (4) of the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 of the Commonwealth, or a special rate of pension under section 24 of that Act.

Council regularly verifies its database with Centrelink. If the information you provide to Centrelink or the Department of Veteran's Affairs does not agree, then Council may discontinue your pensioner concession.

Please Note:

If you start receiving a pension after the commencement of a quarterly billing period and you meet the above conditions, you can claim a rebate from the start of the next quarterly billing period.

If you cease to qualify as an eligible pensioner, you will not be entitled to receive a rebate after the end of the quarterly billing period in which you ceased to be eligible. Therefore, if you were granted a pensioner rebate in advance that you are no longer entitled to, it will be charged back to your rate account for the period pertaining to your ineligibility.

Please contact the Council on 9879 9435 immediately if your eligibility changes.

Applications may be made in person at Council's Offices in Town Hall 22 Alexandra St Hunters Hill. Coucil's officers will need to sight your Pensioner Concession Card so please have it with you.

How can I appeal my valuation?

Appeals Against Land Valuations

Any objections or appeals regarding the valuation of the land value must be directed to the Valuer General's Office. Whether or not an objection is pending, the rates levied must be paid by the due date indicated on the front of your Rate Notice.

Land Exempt from Rates

Certain land is exempt from rating (referred to as "Non-Rateable Land").

In order to be eligible for exemption from rating (Non-Rateable Land) your parcel of land must meet certain criteria including belonging to one of the following categories, as stipulated in the Local Government Act, 1993:

  • Churches
  • Minister's residences
  • Schools
  • Public Land
  • Hospitals
  • Land owned and used by Public Charities and certain other land as provided in the provisions of the section 555 of the Local Government Act, 1993.

You may apply to have your property exempt from rating, or appeal Council's decision, in the Land and Environment Court.

Further information regarding non-rateable land may be obtained from the Council's Rates Department on (02) 9879 9435.

I haven't received my rates notice

You should receive your rates notice in early August each year and reminder notices in late October, January and April if you are paying by instalments. If you have not received your notice after these times please contact Council's Rates Department on (02) 9879 9435 to confirm Council has your correct mailing address.

If the mailing address is different to that which is listed on your rates notice please contact Council's Rates Department in writing as soon as possible. Notification may be made by fax, post, email or in person at Council's offices we cannot however accept change of address by phone.

You can also find a downloadable Change of Address form in our Rates Forms page.

How do I change or replace my waste service?

The available sizes and links to the applicable forms are listed below.

For further information regarding waste management please see Council Services and Your Environment.

What is "rate pegging"?

Each year the NSW Government determines the maximum percentage by which Councils can increase their total rate revenue from the previous year. This is called Rate Pegging.

It does not necessarily mean that each separate rate assessment will increase by that percentage but rather that the total rate revenue from all assessments cannot exceed this figure.

Councils can however make a request to the State Government to consider granting them a Special Variation above the determined percentage. Before this can happen an extensive community consultation process must occur.

This Rate Pegging limit only applies to Rates and not to Charges.

The Minister for Local Government has announced for 2015/2016 a 2.4% increase in General Income will be allowed to Councils.

Council gained approval from the Minister for Local Government for a special variation of 4.16% to provide sufficient annual revenue to fund the ten year works program for building and community facilities.

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