Rates at a Glance
Council Rates at a Glance
The following provides an overview of Council rates "at a glance."
Council rates are governed by the Local Government Act 1999 - (see Chapter 10 Rates and Charges) which can be found on the SE Legislation website.
Council rates are the single biggest source of revenue for councils. Each financial year a council must adopt a budget and then set the rates according to the revenue needed. Every council must prepare an Annual Business Plan each year and forward a summary of this to each ratepayer.
Councils have a variety of rating options available and need to determine what is the best method to use for the local community. Rating options include having a general or single rate apply to all properties, having a different rate according to property uses/location, having a separate rate for a particular purpose in part of a council area, having a service rate or charge for a specific service like Community Wastewater Management Systems (CWMS) and having a fixed (flat) charge as part of the general/single rate.
Property values are used as a basis for determining what share of the total rate revenue individual ratepayers are to pay.
Councils may use site value (land only), capital value (land plus improvements) or annual value (rental) - the majority use capital value. Councils can use valuations provided by the Valuer-General or a valuer authorised under the Land Valuers Act 1994 engaged by the council.
Ratepayers may object to valuations if they consider them to be inaccurate.
To achieve a balanced budget, each Council must determine every year what the rate in the dollar needs to be in order to generate the required rate revenue.
In simple terms, the amount of rates payable is determined by multiplying the property value by a rate in the dollar that is determined by the Council e.g. if the property value is $200,000 and the rate in the dollar is 0.006926 the rates payable will be $1385.20. (Note: As indicated above, this will vary according to the rating method used by each Council).
Each ratepayer must be given the opportunity to pay their rates in quarterly instalments.
Councils can provide rate relief to certain ratepayers in specific circumstances such as financial hardship (enquiries of this type need to be made to your Council, and are confidential).
For further information contact Mid Murray Council:
PO Box 28
Mannum SA 5258
Phone: (08) 8569 0100