NEWS FLASH: Electronic Delivery of Rates Notices now available
Adelaide Hills Council ratepayers can now opt to receive, pay and store quarterly rates notices electronically - go to Electronic Delivery of Rates Notices for more information and sign up options.
Rates & Property
Each year, following public consultation, Council adopts an Annual Business Plan. This is a public statement of the intended programs and services and what Council believes the community can afford in rates. A summary of the Annual Business Plan is included with your rates notice along with information on where to view the full plan.
Once Council sets its rates for the year, it sends out a rates notice advising the amount, the date for payment and how the rates can be paid. Rates are payable quarterly and penalties apply for late payment.
Determining who pays how much
Having determined its expenditure budget, Council then divides the portion of the budget to be raised from rates by the sum of all property values in its area. This calculates what is called a 'rate in the dollar'. Each individual property value is then multiplied by the 'rate in the dollar' to produce the rates bill for the property. The total rates paid by the community will equal the amount set in the budget.
Rates are calculated as a Fixed Charge plus a Variable Charge levied on the Valuer General's valuation of your property. The Fixed Charge provides a mechanism to recognise that all properties have access to core Council services, regardless of valuation, and need to make a contribution to the cost of providing those services. The remainder of the rates calculation is based on an average percentage charge on the value of all properties in the Council area.
The rate in the dollar is reviewed annually to ensure it only raises the budgeted amount required. Valuations do not determine the rates income of Council and as a result, Council does not gain windfalls from valuation increases.
The NRM levy is collected by Council on behalf of the State Government.
For general information about Council rates visit the Local Government Association Website.
For specific information about Adelaide Hills Council Rates please refer to the latest Annual Business Plan & Budget and the most recent Annual Report.
State Government Concessions
Until this year, the State Government funded concessions on Council rates. These concessions were formerly available to the holders of pensioner concession cards, veterans, low-income earners, unemployed, students, and self-funded retirees. These concessions were all abolished by the State Government with effect from 30 June 2015.
From 1 July 2015, the State Government has elected to replace these concessions with a single 'cost-of-living payment' provided directly to those entitled. This payment may be used to offset Council rates. Note: not all former recipients of rates concessions will be entitled to the new payment.
To check your eligibility, contact the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Concessions Hotline 1800 307 758 or visit www.sa.gov.au.
The separate concession entitlements for Council Community Waste Water Schemes (CWMS) remain unchanged for 2015/2016. Should you be entitled to the State Government funded concession on CWMS rates this will be reflected on the front of your rate notice.
Postponement of Rates
Council now allows ratepayers who hold a State Seniors Card the option of lifetime (or until the property is sold) deferral of part of their rates bill. Councils can agree to more flexible payment arrangements for people who have difficulty meeting quarterly payments. Please contact the Council to arrange a convenient time to discuss and lodge your application form.
People experiencing difficulty in paying their rates should contact Council as we may agree to more flexible payment arrangements for those who have difficulty meeting quarterly payments. Under the legislation that governs Council, fines must be imposed when the quarterly amounts are not paid in full by the due dates – but by paying small amounts on a regular basis it gradually reduces the amount outstanding leaving only a small balance to pay on the due date. This will help to minimise or eliminate any fines. Where people are in genuine financial hardship, Council has some capacity to provide assistance through remissions.
The Local Government Act 1999 (the Act) provides for rebates for rates in certain circumstances. Sections 159-165 of the Act lists those that must receive rebates and include:
- health services;
- community services;
- religious purposes;
- public cemeteries; and
- educational purposes.
Council may also provide discretionary rebates under Section 166 of the Act, and currently offers a rebate to some primary production ratepayers. In the 2012-13 financial year, Council provided over $300,000 in rate mandatory and discretionary rebates.
Rate Capping Application
Council has resolved to cap the increase in the rates paid on a principal place of residence to no more than 15%, subject to meeting other conditions.
To be eligible to apply for a rate cap you must meet the following criteria:
- my rates have increased by more than 15% AND
- the property is used by me as my principal place of residence, AND
- there have not been recent improvements to the property worth more than $20,000, OR
- any change in the land use since 1 January 2015 OR
- a change of ownership of the property since 1 January 2015
To apply please complete and return the Rate Capping Application Form.
Primary Production Rate Rebate
On application, a Primary Production Rate Rebate of 10% on the differential rate in the dollar applies to those properties that are genuinely in the business of Primary Production.
If you believe you are eligible for the Primary Production Rate Rebate, download and complete this form and return it to council.
Please note: The agreement will remain in force from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2017. The agreement will be automatically cancelled for a particular parcel of land when sold.