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Council Rates

Annual Business Plan and Budget 2017/18 Your rates allow us to provide a wide range of services for you, and for the benefit of the wider community.

Annual Business Plan and Budget 2017-2018 

What your Council Rates do for you

Payment Options

How are rates calculated?

To meet service levels and the infrastructure needs of our community for 2017/18 at a total cost of $163.9m, the City of Charles Sturt needs to raise $103.13m in rates.

This translates to an overall increase in total rates of 2.0% (plus property growth).

For the “typical” residential ratepayer this equates to additional $0.52 cents per week or $26.92 per annum.

At Charles Sturt we also have a minimum rate which ensures all ratepayers contribute towards the provision of basic services at a reasonable level. In 2017/18 the minimum will increase from $1,042 to $1,060 for 35% of ratepayers (1.7 % increase or an extra $18 per annum).

Rates are a form of property tax where the amount each ratepayer contributes is based on their relative property valuation, but this valuation has no bearing on the total amount of rates the Council collects. Council only collects the amount of money it requires to provide those services and infrastructure as adopted in its annual budget

As rates levied are a system of taxation (like income tax and GST) the rates paid may not directly related to the services used.

Rates are calculated by multiplying the value of a property (capital value as assessed by the Valuer General), by the 'rate in the dollar.'

The 'rate in the dollar' is calculated by dividing the sum of rates required by the Council’s annual budget by the total valuation of properties in the Council area.

There are a range of different 'rates in the dollar'; each is based on the type of land use (eg residential, vacant land, commercial, industrial, primary production land and other).

Change of details

You must advise us of all changes to the postal address or owner/ratepayer details in writing.

Any changes to your name due to marriage, divorce, death etc must be advised in writing with copies of relevant certificates attached.

Change of Address or Name or Ratepayer

Sale of Property - Transfer Advice

 

Objections to property valuations

Your property's capital value assessment used to determine the amount of rates you are levied comes from a Government valuation adopted by this Council.

You may object to the valuation referred to in the annual instalment notice in writing to the Valuer-General within 60 days of service of the annual instalment notice, stating the grounds for your objection and including information to support your application. But note:

  1. If you have previously received a notice under the Local Government Act 1999 referring to the valuation and informing you of a 60 day objection period, the objection period is 60 days after service of the first such notice;
  2. You may not object to the valuation if the Valuer-General has already considered an objection by you to that valuation.

Objection forms can be obtained from the State Valuation Office, or can be downloaded from http://www.landservices.sa.gov.au/

Objections are to be forwarded to the State Valuation Office:
101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001
Email: lsgobjections@sa.gov.au
Phone: 1300 653 345

If your objection is upheld, the Valuer General will advise Council and your rates notice will be amended.

Please note: The lodgement of objections for rates does not change the due date of payment for rates.

Queries about land use

Differential General rates imposed by the Council are based on various land use categories. If you consider that the land use category is incorrect you may object, in writing within 60 days of service of the rates notice to:

The Chief Executive
City of Charles Sturt
PO Box 1 Woodville SA 5011

State the grounds for your objection, your opinion of the correct land use and include information to support your application.

Natural Resources Management Levy

Council collects a regional Natural Resources Management (NRM) Levy on all rateable properties on behalf of your regional NRM Board. The City of Charles Sturt is effectively operating as a revenue collector for the Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and revenue from this levy is not retained by the Council, nor does the Council determine how the revenue is spent.

In 2017/18 the increase in NRM levy is 6.45% (as compared to the 2% increase in rates levied by Council).

The NRM Board invests this levy in managing and protecting priority water, land, marine and biodiversity assets. For general NRM levy enquiries please contact Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board on 08 8273 9100 or visit their website - Adelaide Mt Lofty Natural Resources Management Board

Reasons why rates continue to increase

  • To maintain community infrastructure like roads, footpaths and stormwater to an acceptable standard based on assessment of condition and useful life as outlined in Asset Management Plans;
  • Because the community continues to want a broad range of services with an increasing quality of service;
  • Due to rising costs for water, electricity, waste noting that we have responsibility for watering some 350 hectares of open space, responsibility for public lighting and domestic and hard refuse collection;
  • Changes in legislation by State government such as the increase in mandatory building inspections without any cost recovery and imposition of a $18 debt recovery fee for expiation recovery;
  • Other changes in legislation where the cost of the service is far greater than the legislated fees such as in planning and building, food inspections;
  • Increase in mandatory rebates to supported accommodation of 75% and increase in EPA waste levy;
  • Non renewal by the Australian Government of supplementary road funding which was provided to S.A. in recognition of inequitable share of identified local roads grants;
  • Staffing costs endorsed in line with the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement which as a service industry, employee costs comprise approximately 36% of the total operating costs.

Over 5 years from 2013/14 to 2017/18 the increase in levies and charges was 139%, approximately 34.83% per annum with the main contributors being the increases in EPA levy (111%), Emergency Service levy (201%) and the mandatory rebates on housing trust properties migrated to housing associations for which we are required to grant a 75% rate rebate (307.5%).

However Council is conscious that these rising costs must be managed to ensure rates remain affordable by:

  • Continuation of ongoing reviews to ensure services are provided efficiently and effectively and provide value for money;
  • Increases in staffing (FTE) have to be justified through a business case and identified as an annual operating project for review by Council;
  • Recurrent budget is developed annually using zero based budgeting to ensure cost savings are captured;
  • Lobbying against legislative changes that impose costs to Council without cost recovery.

Independent data prepared for the LGA by the SA Centre of Economic Studies (SACES) shows Council Rates in Australia  have grown the lowest of tax revenues of each sphere of government over the past 45 years;

 Charles Sturt total average rate increases from 2013/2014

Index of Real Taxation Revenue

The value of my property has gone up, will my rates go up by the same amount?

No, not necessarily. Council rates are a form of property taxation and property values play an important part in determining how much each individual ratepayer contributes relative to another.

As it is a system of taxation the rates paid may not directly relate to the services used by each ratepayer.

Once Council determines its budget, it then divides the amount of money it needs to raise from rates by the total of all individual property values in its area to arrive at what is called “the rate in the dollar” (RID). In this way it can multiply the rate in the dollar by individual properties values to produce the rates bill for each property and know that in total, rates paid will equal the amount set in the budget to be raised from rates.

Valuations do not determine the rates income of a council but are used only to divide the total rates amount among individual ratepayers.

Property values are therefore ONLY one part of the calculation for how much each ratepayer contributes.

Councils must review the rate in the dollar annually to make sure they only raise the budgeted rate revenue required.

For Example: a person with a property value of $450,000 will contribute relatively more than someone with a property value of $400,000. So, although the value of your property may reduce if the rate in the dollar has increased then the amount paid in rates can be more than what you may have paid in a previous year.

Refer graph below for distribution of residential rates.

In 2017/18 some 5386 residential ratepayers will pay less rates than in 2016/17 as their property valuations rose less than the average across the City.

Residential Rates Increase 2017/2018

 

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