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Rates FAQs

Important information about rates for residential and commercial property owners.

What are rates?
Who determines the value of my land?
Who decides the amount I have to pay?
Why do I have to pay rates?
What is the “Special Rate – Infrastructure”?
Why do I have to pay charges?
Am I entitled to any rebates or discounts on my rates?
When do I have to pay my rates and charges?
What happens if my payment is late?
What if I am having difficulty paying my rates and charges?
How can I update my name and address details?
What are interest charges?
Am I entitled to a Pensioner Rebate?
How is my land categorised for rating purposes?
What happens if I disagree with the category shown on my rate notice?
When does a change in category occur?
How is my land valued?
What happens if I disagree with the value used to calculate my rates?
What land is exempt from council land rates and charges?
What are postponed rates?
What is BPAY View?

 

What are rates?

Land rates are a levy billed each financial year to fund the services and facilities provided by Council.

Rates are calculated on the value of land, and do not include any improvements such as buildings. Each parcel of rateable land is categorised according to its dominant use, or in the case of vacant land, the permitted use in accordance with a planning instrument.

The Local Government Act 1993 empowers Council to levy and collect land rates and charges.

Who determines the value of my land?

The land value is determined by the Land and Property Information (LPI) Division of the Department of Lands (formerly known as the NSW Valuer General’s Office). New land valuations for the whole Council area are determined generally every three years at the discretion of the LPI.

Who decides the amount I have to pay?

Council determines the total amount required from rating income as part of the budget process. The total income is subject to an approval process involving the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and the NSW Minister for Local Government.

This total income is divided by all property land valuations as supplied by Land and Property Information to arrive at a rate. This rate is then applied to each rateable property to determine the annual levy amount. This calculation is shown on the annual rate notice issued in July each year.

Why do I have to pay rates?

The funds collected in annual rates enable Council to help the local community to run smoothly. Council administers various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. These services include community services, sporting and recreation services, environmental planning, local infrastructure, public health, environmental protection and waste collection, treatment and disposal.

Council funds the operation and provision of a variety of services through the rates that you pay. Key services are identified in the Delivery Program and annual Operational Plan.

What is the 'Special Rate – Infrastructure'?

This rate represents the amount that ratepayers contribute towards the ongoing works program required to bring community assets to a satisfactory standard. From 2014-2015 Council will collect in excess of $5 million per year through this levy which will directly fund improvements to local roads, buildings, bridges, parks and community facilities.

New works will be taking place across the city, many of the projects are part of our city-wide Renew-Connect-Revitalise Improvement Works Program, with more than $115 million worth of works planned for the entire area.

Details of city-wide improvement projects can be found in the City Improvements area of this site.

Why do I have to pay charges?

Charges are levied according to the service being provided. Council determines the cost of providing services such as domestic waste management and stormwater management and simply divides this by the number of account holders that will benefit from the service.

Domestic Waste Management: Charges for this service include the supply of waste, recycling and green waste collection bins, collection and disposal costs. Also included in this annual charge are other costs such as the free kerbside collection service and education programs conducted by Council.

Stormwater Management Charge: Charges for this service are made annually to manage the quantity or quality, or both, of stormwater that flows off land, and includes a service to manage the reuse of stormwater for any purpose.

Council levies other charges for additional services such as additional waste collection bins. 

Am I entitled to any rebates or discounts on my rates?

Council provides a rebate of up to $300 per year to eligible pensioners. To be considered for this rebate the following criteria needs to be met:

  • you must be legally liable to pay rates to Council
  • you must be the holder of a current Commonwealth Government issued 'Pensioner Concession Card'
  • the rateable property must be your principle place of residence
  • you will need to complete and submit an application on the approved form to Council.

Applications are ongoing and do not require renewing each year provided your details remain the same. Council's Customer Service team are available to assist in calculating the maximum rebate, completing the application form and sighting your concession card at Council's Civic Centre, Queen Street, Campbelltown.

There are no discounts for early payment of your rates.

When do I have to pay my rates and charges?

Rates and charges notices are issued in July each year. There are two options available to pay your rates and charges:

  • Option 1 – Pay in full by 31 August each year
  • Option 2 – Pay by quarterly instalments due on the following dates: 
    • Instalment 1: 31 August
    • Instalment 2: 30 November
    • Instalment 3: 28 February
    • Instalment 4: 31 May

It is important to make your payments by the due date to avoid being charged penalty interest. Penalty interest will apply on any unpaid amounts as they fall due.

What happens if my payment is late?

If an instalment is not paid by the due date, the instalment will become overdue and known as 'rates in arrears'.

Rates in arrears will show separately on instalment reminder notices and any future instalment notices if they continue to remain unpaid. The balance will attract penalty interest in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 at the rate adopted by Council and approved by the Minister for Local Government.

What if I am having difficulty paying my rates and charges?

If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your account you may enter into an arrangement to pay smaller more regular payments each week, fortnight or month. Under certain circumstances Council may waive penalty interest charges due to Financial Hardship. For information on how to apply for a payment arrangement or financial hardship relief please contact Council’s Revenue Team on 4645 4935 or review Council's Hardship(111KB, PDF) Policy.

Council may consider formal legal recovery action on accounts that remain in arrears for an extended period. Notice of possible legal action is issued separately and needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency. 

How can I update my name and address details?

The name recorded on your rate notice needs to accurately reflect the ownership of the property being rated, and may only be changed in certain circumstances listed below. These may be posted in to Council or the original sighted by a member of our Customer Service team.

Change of name
  • Due to marriage – please provide a witnessed copy of the Births Deaths and Marriages marriage certificate. This may be posted into Council if accompanied by a copy of your rate notice
  • Change of Name Certificate - please supply a witnessed copy of the certificate that was issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. This may be posted into Council if accompanied by a copy of your rate notice
  • Due to sale or transfer of land – This information is received by Council directly from the NSW Land Titles Office on a regular basis, generally this takes between four to six weeks. 
Change of mailing address

Your change of mailing address request may be completed online, in writing or by telephone.

  • Online
  • In writing - send your request to PO Box 57, Campbelltown NSW 2560 (Please consider including contact telephone numbers)
  • Telephone – by calling 02 4645 4935.

What are interest charges?

If an instalment is not paid on or before the due date, the instalment will become overdue and will be known as arrears of rates.

Rates in arrears are subject to daily interest in accordance with the provisions of The Local Government Act 1993 at the interest rate approved by the Minister for Local Government.

The interest percentage will be shown on the front of your rate notice.

Rates that remain unpaid may be included in recovery proceedings. Such action may incur recovery costs in addition to interest charges. 

Am I entitled to a pensioner rebate?

A pensioner rebate of up to $300 per year may be available to eligible ratepayers. To make an application, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an owner of the property concerned
  • The property is your principle place of residence
  • Be the holder of a current Centrelink or Department of Veteran Affairs issued 'Pensioner Concession Card', or
    • 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.

To claim this rebate you will need to complete and sign a Pensioner Rebate Concession Application and have your concession card sighted, or provide a certified copy to us.

We recommend that your application be made at our offices due to the type of information needed. We’ll also be able to give feedback on the maximum rebate available. 

How is my land categorised for rating purposes?

All land is categorised according to its primary or permitted use for the purposes of rating. Council has categorised all land to be within one of the following four categories:

  • RESIDENTIAL – principle or primary use as residential accommodation
  • BUSINESS – where the principle use is for commercial or industrial use, or cannot be categorised in one of the other three categories
  • FARMLAND – primary use is for the business of farming. Categorisation is subject to an approval process, please contact our Revenue Team for an application on 4645 4935
  • MINING – where the owner has rights to mine coal or metals from land.

What happens if I disagree with the category shown on my rate notice?

If you have changed the use of your property you will need to notify us within 30 days. You can request a categorisation review at any time by writing to us.

When does a change in category occur?

We will notify you in writing if a change is proposed and you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision. The new category will be effective from the date declared in writing by us (generally from the beginning of the next financial year).

How is my land valued?

Land rates are calculated on the rateable valuation supplied by Land and Property Information (LPI).

The LPI Division of the Department of Lands (formerly known as the NSW Valuer General's Office) determines the value to be used by Council for rating purposes and supplies updates during the year.

New land valuations for the whole Council area are determined every three years or at the discretion of the LPI.

What happens if I disagree with the value used to calculate my rates?

You may appeal the rateable value with the LPI through a formal objection process. If you decide to lodge an appeal you will need to pay any rates issued by us. If your appeal is successful, your rates will be recalculated and any overpayment will be refunded at your request.

What land is exempt from council land rates and charges?

Certain land is exempt from rating and is referred to as 'Non-Rateable'. In order to be eligible for a land rate exemption, land must belong to an organisation related to the purposes and be used in accordance with one of the following categories as defined by the Local Government Act 1993, generally they include:

  • churches
  • Minister's residences
  • schools
  • public land
  • hospitals
  • land owned and used by public charities
  • 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 our decision, in the Land and Environment Court. Further information regarding non-rateable land may be obtained from our Revenue Team on 4645 4935.

What are postponed rates?

Land that is being used for a purpose other than its maximum permitted use may be eligible for postponed rates.

You may apply to have a portion of your rates postponed if the land value we use to calculate your rates includes a premium because of its current permitted use under a planning instrument or zoning.

For example, land located within an area that is zoned for commercial development and is used as the site of a single dwelling house may be valued in excess of a similar sized property in that area that is zoned for residential purposes only. The higher value may attract significantly higher land rates for which a portion may be postponed.

We may postpone a portion of the annual rates (with interest) for up to five years, payable only if the property is sold or a change in circumstances occur (such as subdivision, partial sale, change in use or boundary variation).

Each year the amount postponed is 'rolled over', up to five years of postponed rates are held by us. When the amount held in year five is rolled into year six the amount of rates and interest applicable to the oldest year is permanently written off.

This process is subject to a written application, please contact our Revenue team on 02 4645 4935.

What is BPAY View?

Simply log on to your online or mobile bank to register for BPAY View. When your rate notice arrives your financial institution will let you know by email, SMS or bank message within your online or mobile banking.

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