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Council rates

PLEASE NOTE: Due to scheduled maintenance, online payments and system access will be unavailable between 9:30am and 5:30pm on Saturday 30 January.

We understand that the current COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing and that this is a difficult time for our community. Please make sure to follow our COVID-19 page for all the latest updates about rate payments and how we are responding to those experiencing hardship.

Your rates help us deliver a wide range of services to benefit you and the wider community.

You can pay your rates:

  • in full by 1 September; or
  • in four instalments (due 1 September, 1 December, 1 March and 1 June each year)

If you are unable to make payments by the due date please contact us on 8408 1111. If you get in touch before the due date, we can avoid recovery action. There are payment alternatives available, but late payment penalties still apply.

Pay your rates online

See our other payment methods

Receive your rates notice by email with EZYbill

What happens with late payments

You can get rate relief - rebates and concessions

Sold your property? Sale of property - transfer advice

Council rates: your questions answered

The service levels and infrastructure needs of our community for 2019/20 come in at a total cost of $145.7 million. For this the City of Charles Sturt needs to levy $109.909 million in rates.

This means there is an increase of 2.0% for rates (plus property growth).

For the “typical” residential ratepayer this equates to an extra $0.56 cents per week or $28.98 per annum (1.8%).

We also have a minimum rate to ensure all ratepayers contribute to basic services at a reasonable level. In 2019/20 the minimum is increasing from $1071 to $1095 for 35% of ratepayers. This is a 2.24% increase, or an extra $24 per annum.

Rates are a type of property tax. Each ratepayer contributes based on their relative property valuation. But this valuation does not affect the total amount of rates the Council collects. We only collect the amount of money required to provide services and infrastructure in our annual budget.

As rates are a tax (like income tax and GST) the rates paid may not directly relate to the services used.

We calculate rates by multiplying the value of a property (capital value as assessed by the Valuer General), by the 'rate in the dollar'.

We calculate the 'rate in the dollar' by dividing the sum of rates required in our annul budget by the total valuation of properties in our Council's area.

There are different types of 'rates in the dollar'. They depend on the type of land use, eg residential, vacant land, commercial, etc.

In 2019/20 the average increase in rates for commercial and primary production land uses was the same as residential. This ensures a fair distribution.

Your property's capital value assessment is used to determine your rates. It comes from a Government valuation adopted by this Council.

You may object to the valuation referred to in the annual instalment notice. If you wish to object, you must lodge it in writing to the Valuer-General within 60 days of service of the annual instalment notice. State the grounds for your objection and include information to support your application.

But please note:

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;

You may not object to the valuation if the Valuer-General has already considered an objection by you to that valuation.

Objection forms

You can get them from the Office of the Valuer-General or access objection forms online.

Send your objections to the Office of the Valuer-General:

101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001
1300 653 346

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.

The Regional Landscape levy (previously known as the Natural Resources Management levy (NRM)) is a State tax. Councils are required under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 to collect the levy on all rateable properties on behalf of the State Government.

The City of Charles Sturt is operating as a revenue collector for the Green Adelaide Board. Revenue from this levy is not retained by the Council, nor do we determine how the revenue is spent.

In 2020/21 the Regional Landscape levy to be collected by Council will be $3,025,932 (3% increase on 2019/20).

The levy helps to fund the operations of regional landscape boards who have responsibility for the management of the State’s natural resources. These responsibilities include regional landscape planning, water allocation planning, community capacity building, education and compliance activities.

For further information regarding this levy, or the work the levy supports, please visit the Green Adelaide Board at or phone 8463 3733. They can be contacted via email at .

Council has to pay various levies and charges from the rates tax it levies.This is as well as the NRM levy of $2.9 million which Council must collect from its ratepayers on behalf of the NRM Board.

Other levies and charges Council must pay from the rates collected include:

  • solid waste levy
  • emergency Services levy
  • planning levies
  • dog and cat management fees
  • library levies
  • motor vehicle registrations
  • legislated mandatory rebates including housing associations, schools, churches. In this case, council levies rates but must then grant a rebate

For a typical ratepayer paying $1377 in residential rates, we use around $84 to pay these charges.

There are lots of reasons why rates continue to increase.

  • Infrastructure like roads, footpaths and stormwater must be maintained to an acceptable standard as outlined in Asset Management Plans.
  • The community continues to want a broad range of services with an increasing quality of service.
  • Rising costs of water, electricity and waste. We have responsibility for public lighting, domestic and hard refuse collection, and watering 350 hectares of open space.
  • Changes in legislation by State government without any cost recovery such as the changes to the Local Nuisance Act.
  • 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.
  • Continued increase in mandatory rebates to supported accommodation of 75%. Over the last 10 years this has cost $1.9m in lost revenue (233% increase).
  • Continued increase in EPA waste levy . In 2019/20 there was an increase of $10 per tonne from 1 July 2019 and then another $30 per tonne on 01/01/2020, a total of 40%.
  • Since July 2010 the waste levy has increased from $26 per tonne to $140 per tonne. This is an increase of 438% which for council has been a total cost increase of approximately $3m.
  • Increase in emergency services levy which has increased since 2007/08 by 245%.
  • Staffing costs endorsed in line with the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. As a service industry, employee costs make up 36% of our total operating costs.

As a Council, we must manage these rising costs to ensure rates remain affordable.

We're doing this in a number of ways.

  • Ongoing reviews to ensure services are efficient and effective with value for money.
  • Increases in staffing must be justified through a business case for review by Council.
  • Recurrent budget is developed annually using zero based budgeting to ensure cost savings are captured.
  • Ongoing budget assurance work in reviewing trends in spending. Over the last two years this has resulted in $2.3 million being permanently removed from the budget.
  • Lobbying against legislative changes that impose costs to Council without cost recovery.

Council rates in Australian have grown the lowest of all tax revenues from each area of Government over the past 45 years.

This is according to independent data prepared for the Local Government Association (LGA) by the SA Centre of Economic Studies (SACES).

Index of Real Taxation Revenue

Below are the overall average increases for Charles Sturt since 2014/15:

Total Average Rate Increase from 2014-15

(please note if rate capping had been legislated our overall increase in 2019/20 is approx 1% less than the cap of 2.9% determined by ESCOSA)

No, not necessarily.

Council rates are a type of property taxation. Property value has an important part in working out how much each ratepayer pays, relative to another.

Because it's a system of taxation the rates paid may not directly relate to the services used by each ratepayer. Once Council works out its budget, we work out how much money we need to raise from rates. We then divide the total of all individual property values in the area to come up with the "rate in the dollar".

With this system, we can multiply the rate in the dollar by individual property values to get the rates bill for each property. We then know that the rates paid will equal the same amount set in the budget to be raised from rates.

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

Property values are only one part of the calculation for how much each ratepayer pays. Councils must review the rate in the dollar annually. This makes sure they only raise the budgeted rate revenue as 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, the value of your property may reduce if the rate in the dollar has increased. But the amount paid in rates can still be more than what you paid in a previous year.

See our graph below for distribution of residential rates.

In 2019/20 some 10,379 residential ratepayers will pay less rates than in 2018/19 as their property valuations rose less than the average across the City.

Residential Rates Increases 2019-2020 graph

72.1% of residential ratepayers will have a rates increase less than 2.5% with 19% a reduction in rates  

For the rates tax levied, ratepayers are investing in the following services and infrastructure in their local community:

  • Core services such as maintenance of parks, reserves, roads and community buildings, waste collection and recycling services, development planning and compliance, and provision of five library services throughout the City at a total operating cost (excluding depreciation) of $87.727m.
  • Additional annual operating initiatives of $2.688m including economic development and initiatives to support to business, school holiday sports program and greening the City projects.
  • A Capital works program investing $58.99m for roads, footpaths, traffic management initiatives, playgrounds, continuation of flood mitigation stormwater works on Port Road, the completion of the upgrade of the St Clair Recreation centre, West Beach Rockwall and SAPN street lighting replacement program.

View the Annual Business Plan and Budget 2019/20 document  to view the comprehensive list  of all capital and annual operating initiatives.

To get a previous copy of your rates notice you can choose one of the following options:

You can request your rates notice to be posted or emailed out to you by the above methods. Please allow up to 5 business days to action your request (it could be longer if we need to mail it to you).

There will be a cost of $11.00 per account copy for previous financial years and no charge if it is for the current financial year.

If you are already signed up for EzyBill you can access previous rates notices on their portal for free. Please note that you can only access previous rates notices from the day you have signed up.

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