Rates FAQ

Read the answers to these frequently asked questions for information on how we calculate and use your rates plus much more.

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Why do I have to pay rates?

Central Coast Council administers various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. These services may include community services, sporting and recreation services, environmental planning, public health, environmental protection and waste collection, treatment and disposal. The rates you pay allow Council to fund these services.

A full list of capital works planned for the year and where our priority spend areas are can be found in the Operational Plan of the Central Coast Council.

Can I find out how much I have to pay before I receive my rates notice?

Before the final rate amounts are fixed, Council prepares a draft Operational Plan. This plan is then placed on public exhibition for 28 days during which the public is able to make comment via a submission regarding the rates, charges and fees proposed by Council. The exhibition period usually commences during April or May each year. After consideration of the submissions, Council formally adopts the Operational Plan along with the rates, charges and fees applicable for the coming year.

What types of rates does Central Coast Council levy?

There are three types of rates levied by council: ordinary rates, special rates and charges.

Ordinary Rates: Ordinary rates are used to provide essential services such as the road network, street lighting, street cleaning, footpaths, parks, sport and recreation facilities, environmental planning and conservation, city rangers, pest control, libraries, town planning and building control, community services, and much more.

Council is required to make and levy an ordinary rate for each year on all rateable land in its area. This is a mandatory requirement.

 

Farmland

s. 515 of the Local Government Act 1993

Land is categorised as farmland if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and its dominant use is for farming or agricultural production. Rural residential land is not categorised farmland.

Residential

s. 516 of the Local Government Act 1993

Land is categorised as residential if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and its dominant use is for residential accommodation or rural residential land or if it is vacant land it is zoned or otherwise designated for use under an environmental planning instrument for residential purposes.

Residential – Flood Prone

s. 516 of the Local Government Act 1993

Land is categorised as residential – flood prone if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and it is vacant flood liable land which is unsuitable for building upon.

Mining

s. 517 of the Local Government Act 1993

Land is to be categorised mining if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and its dominant use is for a coal mine or metalliferous mine.

Business

s. 518 of the Local Government Act 1993

Land is to be categorised as business if it cannot be categorised as farmland, residential or mining. Caravan parks and manufactured home communities are to be categorised business.

Business – Major Retail

s. 529(2)(d) of the Local Government Act 1993 - a sub-category may be determined for the category “business” according to a centre of activity

The Business Sub Category of Major Retail applies to properties within the major retail precincts in the former Wyong Shire local government area of:

  • Bay Village Bateau Bay
  • Lake Haven Shopping Centre and Home Mega Centre
  • Westfield Tuggerah
  • Tuggerah SuperCentre

Business – Local Retail

s. 529(2)(d) of the Local Government Act 1993 - a subcategory may be determined for the category “business” according to a centre of activity

The Business Sub Category of Local Retail applies to properties within the local retails precincts in the former Wyong Shire local government area at:

  • Chittaway Bay
  • Lake Munmorah
  • San Remo
  • Wadalba

Special Rates and Other Charges: Special Rates can be used to fund specific local benefit programs such as activity to increase business or to promote an area.

Special Rate

Properties Assessed

Gosford Parking Rate

Purpose

Provide funding for the operation of the Baker Street Parking Station.

Background

Introduced in 1978 as an ongoing rate.

Gosford Central Business District Improvement Special Rate

Purpose

Provide funding for works which will enhance the Central Business District and benefit business properties located in that area.

Background

Introduced in 1994-95 as an ongoing rate

Business/Tourism Development Special Rate

Purpose

Provide funding for Business / tourism works across the former Gosford Local Government Area.

Background

Introduced in 1994-95 as an ongoing rate

Terrigal Tourism/Business Special Development Rate

Purpose

Funding of special development works.

Background

Introduced in 2004-05 for a period of fifteen years.

The Entrance Area

Purpose

Provide funding to The Entrance area to:

  • Promote the economic development of The Entrance area
  • Market and promote The Entrance area
  • Organise and manage promotional events within and around The Entrance area for the purpose of improving the market penetration of The Entrance area and its traders

Background

Introduced from 1 July 1997, to fund activities in The Entrance area and to enhance the local business area.

Toukley Area

Purpose

Provide funding to the Toukley area to market and promote the economic development of the Toukley area within which this special rate applies.

Background

Introduced from 1 July 1997, following a request by the Toukley Chamber of Commerce to fund activities in the Toukley area to enhance the local business area.

The Wyong Area

Purpose

Provide funding to the Wyong area to promote the economic development of the Wyong area within which this special rate applies.

Background

Introduced from 1 July 2005, following a request from the Wyong-Tuggerah Chamber of Commerce to fund activities in the Wyong area to enhance the local business area.

How are waste management charges determined?

Residential properties located east of the M1 (Sydney to Newcastle) Freeway receive a standard three bin (waste, recycling and vegetation) service plus six kerbside collections each year. Those west of the freeway pay a lower annual charge and receive a two-bin service (excluding the vegetation bin), plus six kerbside collections a year. Vacant residential land is charged a waste availability charge. These charges are applied on a cost recovery basis.

What is rate pegging?

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets the amount that NSW Councils can increase rates each year, in line with inflation and other considerations. For 2019-20, the Rate Peg has been set at 2.7%. This means that Council’s total rate income is capped each year.

Can Council increase its income by more than the rate peg?

Normally Council can apply to IPART for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) for an increase above rate peg, however, the NSW Government has removed this avenue for Councils which have recently been formed through mergers. In any event this process requires extensive community consultation and IPART determines the final percentage increase.

How does my land valuation affect my rates?

The NSW Valuer General is the statutory independent valuing authority in NSW. The valuation process is something Council cannot influence. Land is valued by the Valuer General under the Valuation of Land Act 1916. These valuations are carried out approximately every three years and you should get a valuation notice after it is done.

All Central Coast properties were revalued as at 1 July 2016 and these new values must be used for rating from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020. Ordinary rates are made up of a variable rate based on the land value of individual properties in proportion to the total value of all land in the Local Government Area. A minimum payable amount applies.

Land values are one factor used by Council in the calculation of a landowner's rating liability. Increases in land values do not necessarily lead to similar increases in rates.

Changes to land valuations do cause a redistribution of the rates levied across categorised properties, but individual rates may not go up and down in line with the property value.

What if I don’t agree with my land valuation?

Information about the NSW Valuer General’s valuation process and how to request a review was issued with the valuation notices. It is very important to read that information as it explains what you should do if you have concerns about your valuation and how to go about requesting a review of your valuation.

As valuations are provided by NSW Land & Property Information on behalf of the NSW Valuer General who is the statutory independent valuing authority, all enquiries should be directed to NSW Land & Property Information:

Phone: 1800 110 038
Website: http://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/
Email: valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au

The NSW Land & Property Information and NSW Valuer General’s Office websites contain information on the valuation process and how to request a review/lodge an objection.

If I request a review of my valuation do I still need to pay my rates?

Yes, until any request for review is determined you are required to pay rates that have already been levied - Section 36 of the Valuation of Land Act 1916.

If my value is changed will Council adjust my rates?

Council will adjust your rates once Land & Property Information have completed their review and provided Council with amended land values.

How often are land values reviewed?

The NSW Valuer General usually reviews land values every three years for Council rating purposes.

How can my rates increase when we’ve been told that there is a “rate freeze” for merged councils?

The NSW Government has a rate “path” freeze policy. Unfortunately the message ratepayers have been getting is that rates are frozen whereas, in realty, and under NSW law, individual rates can still change because of rate pegging and valuation changes – both of which are determined by the NSW Government agencies – IPART and the Valuer General.

The rate “path” freeze however means that Council cannot alter the rates structures that existed within each of the former Gosford and Wyong Council areas. Under normal circumstances Council would have some limited options to adjust the rates structure to alleviate significant rate increases that land revaluation may create.

What are the rating categories?

Council decides what category your property is in based on its characteristics and use. Each parcel of land in New South Wales falls within one of four categories for rating purposes:

  • Farmland - dominant use, where there is a primary production business activity being conducted which has a significant and substantial nature and a purpose of making a profit. Land zoned as rural does not automatically lead to categorisation as Farmland. Hobby farms do not meet the definition for categorisation as Farmland – Section 515 of the Local Government Act.
  • Residential - dominant use must be for residential accommodation or be vacant land zoned for residential purposes – Section 516 of the Local Government Act.
  • Mining - dominant use is for mining coal or metalliferous minerals - Section 517 of the Local Government Act.
  • Business - If it does not fit either of the above three categories then it must be categorised as Business - Section 518 of the Local Government Act.

In addition to the four categories, Council also has the following sub categories;

Within the former Gosford Local Government Area:

  • Residential – Flood Prone

Within the former Wyong Local Government Area there two business sub-categories:

  • Business Major Retail
  • Business Local Retail

What if I don’t agree with my rating category?

If you don’t agree with Council’s categorisation of your property, you can contact us to request a review.

If you still don’t agree with the categorisation following the review, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court within 30 days of receiving our decision.

What exactly is Council spending our rates on next year and in the years after that?

Full details of Council’s proposed expenditure for each year is contained in the Operational Plan.

How can I have a say about how much rates I pay and how Council spends the income from rates, annual charges, user fees & charges and grants?

Each year we update our Operational Plan detailing how we plan to deliver services to the community for the next financial year and beyond and then put it out on public exhibition for comment.

Are there penalties for late payment of rates?

Yes. Interest accrues on rates and annual charges that remain unpaid after the due date.

Are my other service charges going up as well?

Details of proposed charges will be included in the Operational Plan.

Do I have to pay a domestic waste management charge if I am not using this service?

Yes. The Local Government Act 1993 requires councils to levy an annual charge for domestic waste management services on all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used. All property owners should contribute to the current and future provision of waste services.

Is anyone exempt from paying rates?

Some parcels of land are exempt from rates and charges, including land within a national park or land that belongs to a school or religious group. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Local Government Act 1993, you are not exempt from paying rates.

Can I view my rates online?

You can register to receive your rates through BPAY View by logging on to your internet banking.

Former Gosford Local Government Area rate payers may register for the Online Notice Service to receive their notices via email with the notice attached in Adobe PDF form.

When and how do I pay my rates?

The annual rate notice is issued at the end of July each year. Rates can be paid in full by 31 August, or in quarterly instalments due 31 August, 30 November, 28 February and 31 May.

You may choose to make regular periodic payments (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.). It is important that when calculating your periodic payments you ensure that each of the four instalments will be paid by the due dates in order to avoid interest accruing against overdue amounts. Customers who pay by quarterly instalments will receive instalment reminder notices prior to the due date.

Council offers several options for the payment of rates. Please visit our Payment Options page for further details.

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Last updated : Thu 1 Jan 1970