Understanding Your Rates

What are the rating powers of Councils in NSW?

The NSW Constitution allows for a system of local government through the Local Government Act 1993. This permits local governments to impose rates and charges to landowners in their local government area.

Significant penalties apply to people who refuse or fail to pay rates and charges.

The Commonwealth Constitution does not contain any obstacle to the levy of taxes by the States, including on property.

State Parliaments have the power to confer this function on other bodies through legislation. In NSW, the Local Government Act 1993, chapter 15, the NSW Parliament has conferred upon local government the power to levy and collect property tax in the form of rates.

Councils are created as a body politic under the Local Government Act 1993, Sections 220 and 388. The Local Government Act 1993 provides local governments with a range of powers, including the ability to levy rates

Councils have the lawful power to impose and enforce rates as outlined above.

Why do I have to pay rates?

Rates help Council generate funds to provide services to our community. These funds are collected by charging rates to the owner of every property in Edward River.  

What happens if I don't pay my rates?

Significant penalties apply to people who refuse or fail to pay rates and charges.

People who fail to pay their rates may be liable for penalties, including:

  • Interest for late payment
  • Court proceedings which may result in awarding costs against a defaulting owner, which means paying the local government’s legal costs on top of the outstanding rates and charges
  • Recovery of unpaid rates and charges as debts, which may include selling the relevant land without the consent of the owner

 

How to read your rates notice

This image is designed to give you an overview of things you might see on your rates notice. Some items, such as raw water connection, or strata fees for example, will not be available to all properties so won’t appear on your bill. If you have any questions about your rates notice you can call our Rates Team on 03 5898 3000.

Your Council rates notice explained.(PDF, 200KB)

How does Council spend my rates?

The services we provide and how Council spends each $100 of rates received is:

ERC RATES AT A GLANCE – 2023 -2024 BUDGET

rate-division.png 

In addition to the rates, ratepayers also pay charges for specific services that Council provides such as water, sewer, stormwater and waste.

When are rates due?

You can pay in full on or before 31 August or pay by quarterly instalments.

If you choose to pay quarterly, your payments are due by:

  • 1st instalment: 31 August
  • 2nd instalment: 30 November
  • 3rd instalment: 28 February
  • 4th instalment: 31 May

Can I pay by instalments?

Yes. If you wish to pay by instalments, there is no additional cost. You can set up payments through the payment options offered by Council. See your rate notice for details.

Are there penalties for late payments of rates?

Yes. If you do not pay on time, interest is charged at 9% per annum, calculated daily. Interest accrues on rates and annual charges that remain unpaid after the due date.

What if I can’t pay on time?

Paying rates cannot be avoided, however we can work with you to set up a suitable payment option and this agreement will be lodged in our system. We’ll help you minimise interest and avoid expenses for collecting unpaid amounts. If you don’t keep to the agreement Council may continue with legal action without notice. Interest will still calculate on all extension arrangements made.

If you receive a Centrelink benefit, you can arrange smaller but more frequent payments to be made to your rates and water.

Am I entitled to a pension concession?

To qualify as an eligible pensioner, you must own and live in an eligible rateable property in Edward River Council LGA and hold either a:

  • Pension Concession Card,
  • Veterans Affairs TPI or EDA Card, or
  • Veterans Affairs Gold Card and receive income supplement support.

For more information visit our apply for a pensioner rebate page.

Can I pay rates more frequently?

Yes. If you would like to make frequent payments, you may find this plan easier on the budget. Payments can be made via BPay or any other method listed on the back of the notice, however the due dates still apply. If you need help in calculating the payment amount, please contact Council’s rates officer on 03 5898 3000.

I paid by BPay but the amount has not come off my account. Why not?

You may have entered the wrong Biller Code or Reference Number. These are shown on your rate or water account, so please take care to ensure they are correct. There is a $34.00 charge to refund an overpayment and/or to move money between the rates and water accounts. Any interest charged will not be reversed.

How are my rates calculated?

Rates are a tax on of a property owner’s share of the total value of land within the Local Government area. Generally, the greater your share of total land wealth within your Local Government area, the higher your rates. In Edward River Council our annual rates and charges can be made up of five components: rates levy, water service levy, sewer service levy, stormwater management service and domestic waste service depending on where you live.

Under legislation each property must be included in one of three categories for rating purposes in the Edward River LGA: residential, business, and farmland.  Council decides which category your property should be in based on its characteristics and use.

The rates levy is made up of two parts: a fixed charge and a variable charge.

For the business rate a minimum rate is set each year. This means that if the result of your rate calculation does not reach a certain amount (minimum), then the amount of your rates will be equivalent to the minimum rate. For example: If your business is in Deniliquin and the land value multiplied by the rate in the dollar came in at $480.00, then you will be charged the minimum rate of $554.00 in 2023/2024.

  • Business Town - $554.00
  • Business Other - $485.00

For residential and farmland Council sets a base rate (fixed) in addition to the rate in the dollar. Base rates are used to reduce the rate in the dollar for both residential and farmland rates.

  • Residential Town - $461.00
  • Residential Deniliquin Other - $461.00
  • Residential Other Conargo - $197.00

AND

  • Farmland Dry - $583.00
  • Farmland Irrigable - $583.00

The variable amount is divided by the total value of all rateable properties after the fixed amount has been deducted. Council determines the amount to be paid based on the assessed value of each property. The ‘rate in the dollar’ of your land category is applied to the value of the land. The variable amount is calculated by multiplying your land valuation by the “ad valorem” or “rate in the dollars” method and apply different “rates in the dollar” for different property categories, please refer to Council’s Revenue Policy(PDF, 803KB).

The formula for calculating ordinary rates, excluding any additional charges or arrears, is:

General rates = (land valuation x rate in the dollar) divided by 100

Example

The calculation for Residential Town - Deniliquin: residential land valued at $100,000 would be:

Land valuation: $100,000

Rate in dollar x 0.00596500

$100,000 x 0.005965 = $596.50

Plus, base rate $461=$1,057.50

How are rates calculated?

how-rates-are-calculated.jpg

How is my property valued?

The land value of your property is determined by the NSW Valuer General every 3 years. This is the valuation we use in determining your rates. We are obliged by law to apply the latest land valuations.

All properties in Edward River Council were revalued on 1 July 2022. These values will be used for rating for three financial years 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26 (1 July 2023 – 30 June 2026).

What if I don’t agree with my land valuation?

A property owner has the opportunity to object to their land valuation within 60 days after receiving the Notice of Valuation, either online to the Valuer General or by phoning 1800 110 038 to request an objection form.

While your objection is being reviewed, you are required to continue to pay your rates. If your objection is successful, the NSW Valuer General will adjust the value of your land.

It is important to note an increase in your property value does not increase the amount of money we collect in rates - it just redistributes the amount of rates Council collects between individual properties. Some ratepayers will pay more, and some will pay less, depending on the new value of their property relative to other properties in the Local Government area.

What is Rate Pegging?

The rate peg is the maximum limit (presented as a percentage) set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART) that Council is permitted to increase our income from general rates. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART) has set the rate peg for 2023-24 at 4.4%. 

A Council can also apply to IPART for a Special Variation to the rate peg which will be considered against the guidelines set by the NSW Office of Local Government. There is no Special Variation included in Council’s 2023-24 rates.

Do I have to pay the domestic waste management charge if I am not using this service?

Yes. Council is legally required to levy an annual charge for the domestic waste management services for each parcel of rateable land for which the service is available.

Is anyone exempt from paying rates?

Exemption criteria is specified in the Local Government Act 1993. Some properties that are exempt from rates and charges include land within a national park or land that belongs to a school, charity, or religious group and that is being used for those purposes. However, sewer, water and waste charges are still payable. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Local Government Act 1993, you are not exempt from paying rates.

Change of Ownership

When your property is sold, your solicitor or conveyancer will lodge a notice of sale with the NSW Land Registry Service. Upon registration, the Land Registry will notify Council of the change of ownership. Until this notice is received, Council cannot change the ownership of your property. As there can be delays with the registration of titles with the Registry, you are asked to contact Council to discuss rating details.

Council issues rates annually on properties made up of single or multiple parcels of land. If land is subdivided into individual blocks, a new deposited plan is issued. Council may not rate these new blocks until the next financial year.

If you are not selling but moving out of your property, you must lodge a Change of Address form(PDF, 253KB), via email, post or in person to our Customer Service Centre.

I have purchased a block to build on. It doesn't have a meter on it, but I am receiving a water/sewer account. Why?

If your property is within 225 metres of a water main and can be connected to water, then you will be charged an access fee under the Local Government Act 1993. However, as you are not physically connected, you do not receive a consumption charge. This also applies to the sewer if you are within 75 meters of a sewer main and can be connected.

I have sold my property. What do I need to do?

Check with your conveyancer, as prior to settlement they often contact Council to do a special read to calculate the bill or they calculate the bill using the daily average from the last read. A 603 certificate, which is a financial statement of rates and charges levied for the financial year, is usually obtained by the purchaser's solicitor at the same time. All accounts issued by Council after settlement are payable by the current owner.

I have just purchased the property but there is an arrears amount on my bill. What is that for?

The current owner is responsible for all debts on the property. Please check with Council’s rates officer to see if an amount was paid on settlement. If not, you should contact your conveyancer.