Ordinary rates are applied to properties based on independent valuations supplied to the Council on all rateable properties within the Shire boundaries by Property NSW. The valuations used in the 2019 – 2020 rating period have a base date of 1 July 2016.
Structure of the general (ordinary) rate
The rating provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 allow Councils to base their ordinary rates either on a system of minimum rates or base rates. Bega Valley Shire Council has chosen to employ the system of base rates as a means of levying rates on all properties throughout the Shire. In accordance with section 497 of the Local Government Act 1993 the structure of the Ordinary rate must comprise:
- A base amount (i.e. fixed charge required by statute to be no more than 50% of the total amount of the rate)
- An ad-valorem component (i.e. a rate levied on the unimproved land value)
Ordinary base rate
Council has chosen to apply a system of base amounts to overcome community concerns over the inequity of the rate burden of a rate levied solely on land values. The uniform base charge reflects that some of the benefits derived by ratepayers from the provision of Council works and services are shared equally by the community.
The philosophy behind the base charges is that the base amount should apply to all properties and the total income from the charge should approximate the general administration costs of the Council, together with the cost of common services available to each property within the Council area.
Ad valorem rate
Council has adopted a system of ad valorem rates that will apply to each property valuation to develop a variable charge on each rate notice. The ad valorem charge is multiplied by the land valuation supplied by Land and Property Information NSW to determine the ad valorem charge.
Whilst Council has chosen to apply a system of base rates, the overriding characteristic of NSW local government rating is that the rate assessment will be primarily and predominantly determined via the ad valorem method. The ad valorem amount of the rate is to be levied on the unimproved land value of all rateable land within each rating category on the Rates Notice.
Local Government Cost Index (LGC) Increase
The LGCI in 2019 – 2020 has been set by IPART as 2.7 per cent.
Rateable land categories
Categorisation of all rateable land in the Council area has been undertaken in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 15 of the Local Government Act 1993.
Council has used the following categories of rateable land:
- Farmland - Land used genuinely for primary production. The dominant use of the land must be for the business or industry of grazing, dairying, the growing of crops etc. The activities must have a significant and commercial purpose or character and be engaged in for the purpose of profit on a continuous or repetitive basis. Rural residential land will not be categorised as farmland.
- Residential - The Local Government Act 1993 identifies this land as property used for residential accommodation, or in the case of vacant land, property zoned for residential use under an environmental planning instrument. This category also includes rural residential land. Hotels, motels, guesthouses, boarding houses or nursing homes are specifically excluded from this category.
- Mining - Land is to be categorised as mining if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and its dominant use is for a coal mine or metalliferous mine.
- Business - The Local Government Act 1993 identifies property within this category as land that cannot be categorised in any of the other categories of farmland, residential or mining.
Land that is exempt from all land rates and where indicated water and sewer access charges are listed in this section. The Local Government Act 1993 – Sections 555 to 557 state that the following exemptions must be applied:
- Crown Land (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Crown Land that is not being land held under a lease for private purposes. This category also included state forests which comprise of approximately 30 per cent of the Shire land.
- National Parks (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Land within a national park, historic site, nature reserve, and state game reserve or conservation reserve whether or not the land is affected by a lease, licence, occupancy or use.
- Conservations Agreements (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land that is a subject of a conservation agreement, any rate levied on that whole parcel of land is to be reduced by the percentage of the land in which the conservation agreement covers.
- Churches or places of public worship (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Churches or places of public worship, minister’s residence, places used for religious teaching or training, and official head or assistance official head of any religious body in the State or in any diocese within the state.
- Schools (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Land that belongs to and is occupied and used in connection with a school, school playground or residence occupied by a teacher, employee or caretaker of the school, as defined by the Education Act 1990.
- Aboriginal Land Council (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land that is culturally sensitive vested in the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council or a Local Aboriginal Land Council under Section 43 of Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 exempts Local Aboriginal Land Councils from the payment of rates and charges to Local Government Authorities and water supply authorities on certain types of lands.
The types of lands which may be exempt from rates include:
- Land listed in Schedule 1 of the Aboriginal Land Rights Regulation 2002
- Land that is not being used for a commercial or residential purpose (vacant land); and
- Land not being used for a residential purpose and declared by the Local Aboriginal Land Council to be of cultural or spiritual significance
If land is either listed in Schedule 1 or is vacant land, it is automatically exempt from rate exemptions.
To obtain a rates exemption for land not being used for a residential purpose but is declared by the Local Aboriginal Land Council to be of cultural or spiritual significance (this could include land being used for a commercial purpose such as a cultural centre or museum), the Minister must approve the resolution and list the land in Schedule 1 of the Aboriginal Land Rights Regulation..
- Land below a high water mark (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land that is below high water mark and is used for any aquaculture relating to the cultivation of oysters (Detailed in the Fisheries Management Act 1994).
- Public places (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land that is a public place.
- Public cemetery (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land used for a public cemetery and vested in the Crown, a public body or trustees.
- Public library (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land used solely for a free public library and vested in the Crown, a public body or trustees.
- Area Health Service (general rates only not water and sewer)
Land that is vested in an area health service.
- Land that maybe exempted from water and sewer access charges are listed in this section. The Local Government Act 1993 – Sections 558 state that the following exemptions maybe applied:
Council is currently reviewing these exemptions.
- Government Departments, Council or Emergency Service (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Land that belongs to and is occupied and used in connection with an emergency service or Government department, Council or an emergency service or Government department or Council office or residence provided that it is not commercially leased. This includes Police Stations and residences, Ambulances Stations and residences, Fire Stations and Government offices.
- Public hospital (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
Land that belongs to a public hospital.
- Non -profit community organisations (general rates, water and sewer access charges)
- Council elects that upon application by registered non-profit community organisations and sporting ovals controlled by non-profit community organisations, Council will waiver all water access charges. The organisations will be assessed by Council on the following criteria:
- Must be a registered non-profit community organisation.
- Property has to be owned by and used for the purpose defined in its charter (unless the tenant can demonstrate that they have taken on the burden of ownership as part of the tenancy agreement)
- Must be solely operated and/or managed by volunteers.
- Must be open to all members of the public (or all members of the public that fall into specified sections of the community as recognised in its charter eg people with disabilities)
In relation to aged care facilities:
- They must fall into the categories of either high level care (nursing home) or low level care (hostel) accommodation.
- The exemption does not extend to self care units for people that are living independently, as you would in your own home, in a retirement village or aged care complex.
- Where the self care units are part of an ageing in place facility, Council will negotiate the level of exemption with the organisation based on the proportion of residents in the self care section of the facility.
Definitions: Hostel Care is now known as ‘low-level care’, and refers to accommodation services such as meals, laundry and room cleaning, as well as additional help with personal care, and nursing care if required. ‘Hostel care’ is low-level care provided in an aged care home. Nursing home is the previous name for aged care homes that provide high-level care, including accommodation services such as meals, laundry and room cleaning, and personal care. Medical needs are managed by nursing staff.
For more detail on the rates and charges, please view the Revenue Policy (Section 3 of the Delivery/Operational Plan). read more...
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