General Manager Update

Council Rates Notices will be distributed this week, as per the Local Government Act. To help simplify how rates and charges are calculated, we have compiled the following information outlining the components used for your individual annual rates bill.

Each Council is required to determine the combination of rates, charges, fees and pricing policies needed to fund the services it provides to the community. This is called a Revenue Policy.  The Revenue Policy, as adopted by Council and published in the annual Operational Plan contains a rating structure that determines which rates and charges you will have to pay and how they will be calculated.

Charges are generally determined on either an annual basis or according to usage – such as, Waste Collection or they may be a combination of both, for example, Water and Sewer charges. The User Pay principle avoids cross subsidisation of the costs to deliver these services, with only those receiving them contributing to the costs.

Councils can choose how they calculate and distribute rates among the 4 main categories of rateable properties (Residential, Farmland, Business or Mining) in the local government area. For each category or sub-category, rates can be calculated in 1 of 2 ways and can be based:
  1. on a combination of the land value of the property and a fixed amount per property; or
  2. entirely on the land value, but subject to a minimum amount.

For the past 10 years, Blayney Shire has adopted the combination of both land value and a fixed amount; whereby the same base dollar value is applied to all properties plus an additional rate per dollar of land value, called an ‘ad valorem’.   Under this system, the total rates raised by Council from the ‘base’ component cannot exceed 50% of the total rates raised for that category.

Base rating provides more equity across each category with more ratepayers paying similar amounts.  With base amount rating, each assessment in an individual rate category starts off with the same amount of rates, to which the ad valorem amount is added.

The valuation base date used for the 2018 Rate Levy was provided to Council on 1 July 2016 which is the second year of rating with these valuations.  NSW Councils are on a 3 year rotation to receive land values and the next General Revaluation is scheduled to be received from the Valuer General in 2019 to take effect in the 2020/21 financial year.

Whilst the NSW Valuer General values all properties every year for land tax purposes, these valuations are not provided to Councils every year, only every 3 years.  

These factors mean that every ratepayer in Blayney Shire will receive an increase.  However for example, in the Farmland Category increases will range from $55 for the lowest land value (from $387 in 2017/18 to $442 in 2018/19, representing an increase of 14.24%) to $127 for the highest land value (from $30,148 in 2017/18 to $30,275 in 2018/19 which is an increase of 0.42%) for the highest land value.   

The average property in the farmland category has an increase of approximately $60 or 2.12% which is less than the rate peg of 2.3%

Rates Calculated Image-800x224

So what is rate pegging?

Under the Local Government Act, the total amount of income that Council can raise from certain rates and charges is limited. This is called the rate peg percentage. The rate peg is determined on an annual basis. Because of rate pegging, a Council’s overall rates revenue cannot increase by more than the approved percentage increase.  If overall land values rise, Councils may have to reduce or otherwise adjust the amount of rates levied per dollar so that total income does not grow by more than the approved percentage increase.

The total increase in the yield of rates that may be raised by Council is capped each year by the State Government and in 2018/2019, IPART announced a 2.3% rate peg.

Why did my rates go up by more than the rate peg percentage?
Within rate-pegging, it is possible for some rates to increase by more than the ratepeg limit while others may increase by less than the rate-peg limit. In some cases, rates may decrease from the previous year. A Council’s rating structure and valuation changes are the main factors that will determine what happens to rates on an individual property

Waste Collection Charges and New Waste Management Levy
The Local Government Act requires Councils to levy an annual charge for providing domestic waste management services on all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used.

Council resolved that each rate assessment should contribute towards the $1.32 million Blayney Shire Council is forecast to expend on Waste Services in 2018/19.
A new $20 Waste Management Levy has been introduced to all properties, that will more equitably share the operational expenses for Waste Management Services across the Blayney Shire to all ratepayers.  This Waste Management Levy, raises 6% of the total forecast expenditure.

This levy will contribute towards the costs of operating the Blayney Waste Facility, processing of materials, disposal of rubbish in public litter bins, Village recycling bins and the recent 66% cost increase to process recyclable materials, being incurred not only at a local but global level.

One benefit of this levy is from 1 July, any residential green waste and tree/ pruning’s can be delivered to the Blayney Waste Facility at no cost - no longer incurring a user charge.  This is in addition to the following recyclable items, that can be disposed of at no cost; clean fill, steel, motor vehicles, glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cardboard & paper and electronic waste items.

The only charges imposed at the Blayney Waste Facility gate, will be for the disposal of non-recyclable waste items including; general waste, timber waste, bricks & concrete, commercial waste, tyres, lounges & mattresses, animals and asbestos. This is a win for the community and the environment.

Are you experiencing difficulty when paying your Rates or other Council charges?

At times in our lives, we all struggle to pay bills and Council is well aware that sometimes you just need a bit of assistance or time to meet your commitments. If you are in this situation, please contact Council as we may be able to help you with a payment plan that will better suit your needs. Satisfactory arrangements can usually be made to tailor your payments to more manageable amounts.

Council is required to collect outstanding rates and charges from the community, however, if we hear from you, we are in a better position to manage how we do this.  If you contact Council staff as soon as you know you are having difficulties, it is far better than Council commencing action to recover a debt causing you more stress and additional cost.  Council also recognises there are cases of genuine financial hardship requiring respect and compassion, so please come and talk to our staff confidentially about your need for time to pay your rates or other charges.

Last modified: 19 Jul 2018

Blayney Shire Council

91 Adelaide Street, Blayney NSW 2799
PO Box 62, Blayney NSW 2799
Telephone: (02) 6368 2104

Council opening hours:
Monday to Friday
9.00am - 4.30pm

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