Council's total rate income for 2016/2017 has been increased by 8%. This increase is part of Council's approved Special Rate Variation (SRV) Application made last year to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). This approval allows Council to increase rate income above the allowable rate peg increase for a 5 year period i.e. 2015/16 to 2019/20. The rate peg for 2016/17 is 1.8%.
Council also adopted a residential rating structure which is the same as that used in 2015/16.
This means the average residential rate will increase by approximately 8% or $90 in the 2016/2017 year. Residential rates will include a flat charge per property (50% base amount) of $621.84. The remaining 50% of your residential rates will be calculated based on your land value.
Importantly your 2016/17 rates will also be calculated using a new land value as supplied by The Valuer General. These land values are as Base Date 1 July 2015 and take into account the prevailing market conditions as at that date. This will mean the amount of increase in your rates will depend on the degree of increase in your new land valuation.
Council also resolved to:
- Adopt the business category with sub-categories for the rating of large-scale industrial and commercial properties to be determined by the ad valorem method with a minimum rate of $829.90
- Adopt the farmland category to be determined by the ad valorem method with a minimum rate of $829.90
- Adopt the special business rates as outlined in the 2016-17 Operational Plan (pdf)
- Adopt the residential Stormwater Management Service Charge of $25 per non-strata property and $12.50 per strata unit
- Adopt the business Stormwater Management Service Charge of $25 per 350m2 of land area capped at $1,000. Business strata units be calculated in the same manner with the charge for each unit being determined by the unit entitlement
- Adopt the Domestic Waste Management Service Charge of $340.09
- Adopt the Business Waste Management Service Charge of $231.58.
The special rates structure for 2015/16 will continue to be levied in 2016/17.
– defraying the cost of continuing additional horticultural and cleansing services and street furnishings.
Mayfield Business District
– defraying the additional cost of promotion, beautification and development of the Mayfield Business District.
Hamilton Business District
- defraying the additional cost of promotion, beautification and development of the Hamilton Business District.
Wallsend Business District
- defraying the additional cost of promotion, beautification and development of the Wallsend Business District.
New Lambton Business District
- defraying the additional cost of promotion, beautification and development of the New Lambton Business District.
- defraying the additional cost of promotion, beautification and development of the Citycentre Benefit Area.
Rate assistance provisions
Currently the following rate assistance options exist where ratepayers are experiencing financial difficulties:
- Relief from hardship caused by the use of new land valuations
- Deferral of rates and charges against the estate. This scheme applies to all ratepayers provided that they satisfy the eligibility criteria
- Write-off of accrued interest
- Negotiation of special arrangements to pay rates and charges
- Financial assistance through four local welfare agencies used by Council to provide $65 vouchers as part payment of ratepayer’s accounts (subject to the welfare agency's eligibility criteria).
Ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties should contact Council's Rates Information Hotline on 02 4974 2128 for further information.