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Council Rates

Annual Business Plan and Budget 2016-2017 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 2016-2017 (1476 kb)

Annual Business Plan and Budget Summary 2016-2017 (6568 kb)

How are rates calculated?

To meet service levels and the infrastructure needs of our community for 2016/17, the City of Charles Sturt needs to raise $99.5m in rates. This translated to an overall increase in total rates of 2.9% plus property growth of 1.37%.

For the typical residential ratepayer with a median house price of $447,266 and assuming an average property valuation increase (total rates levied in 2016/17 of $1,287) the residential ratepayer can expect to pay an additional $40.65 p.a. or an extra $0.78c per week.

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 2016/17 the minimum will increase from $1,015 to $1,042 for 35% of ratepayers (2.66 % increase or an extra $27 per annum).

The average residential ratepayer pays approximately $1,332 in rates or $3.65 per day to deliver the infrastructure and services required by the community for 2016/17. (the overall average across all land uses in the City is $1,779 p.a. or $4.87 per day)

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.

Rates are calculated by multiplying the value of a property (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).

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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

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Objections to property valuations

Your property's Capital Value assessment 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

Objections are to be forwarded to the State Valuation Office 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001, email, 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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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;
  • No indexation of the financial assistance grants for 3 years commencing 1 July 2014;
  • 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.

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;

and that not only do SA Councils receive the lowest funding per capita from the State of any jurisdiction in Australia, but we are the only State in which the per capita level of funding has gone backwards.

State Grants per Capita

Index of Real Taxation Revenue

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The value of my property has gone up. Will my rates go up by 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.
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.

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.

The following example helps explain how the system works:


  • Property valuation $415,095 (increase of 1.13% in valuation)
  • Rate In the Dollar (RID) 0.002784837
  • Rates levied = RID * property valuation = $1,156
  • Increase of $28 or 2.48%
  • So although the property value has gone up by 1.13% the rates have risen by 2.48%


  • Property valuation $410,457
  • RID 0.002747586c
  • Rates levied = RID * property valuation = $1,128

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