How are rates calculated

Understanding how rates are calculated can be confusing, but hopefully this information helps explain the process a little more.

Before rates are calculated, Council is required to categorise land into one of four categories, residential, farming, business or mining. Council then levies rates on the land value as determined by the NSW Valuer General. These values are determined on a three year cycle. A valuation occurred in 2016 with the land values being used for rating as from 1 July 2017.

If you take a look at your next rates notice you will see that it also includes charges for waste services, which is the cost to service your general waste, recycling and garden organics kerbside bins, a stormwater management fee and a NSW State Government levy, that helps keep the Hunter River catchment healthy.

The levy for the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Rate is collected and paid monthly to Hunter Local Land Services. Council retains 5% of this levy as commission.

Setting rates

Your rates notice includes items for all of the above levies that when calculated make up your annual rates charges for that financial year cycle. Payment of your rates can be made in full or you can elect to pay the amount by four equal quarterly payments.

Annually, Council places its draft Operational Plan for the following financial year on exhibition. The plan provides details of rates and charges proposed to be levied for the next financial year. You can lodge a comment on any part of this plan during the 28 day exhibition period.

Rate concessions

Under State legislation, some pensioners are eligible for mandatory concessions. The amounts of the concessions available on an annual basis are fixed by legislation. At present this statutory concession is limited to $250 for ordinary rates and charges for domestic waste management services combined.

To be eligible for a rates concession, you must:

  1. Be an eligible pensioner.
  2. Occupy the dwelling for which a concession is sought as your principal place of living.
  3. Provide evidence of eligibility.

If you become or cease to be an eligible pensioner during the year, you will receive a concession proportionate to the number of full quarters in which you are/were an eligible pensioner.