A New Rates Structure - Community Consultation

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Following the amalgamation of the former Bombala Council, Cooma Monaro Shire Council and Snowy River Shire Councils in May 2016, IPART imposed a Rate Path Freeze for newly-merged Councils. Ratepayers in new councils had their rates protected against future increases during the rate path freeze period, meaning they paid no more for their rates than they would have in their pre-merger council area.

The NSW State Government legislation requires all merged Councils to implement a harmonised rating structure by 1 July 2021. This is a process where Council reviews the existing rates being charged and develops a single rating structure that distributes the rates burden fairly across the whole Snowy Monaro Regional Council local government area.

This process will not change the overall level of rates raised by the Council. The introduction of a new rating structure will lead to changes in an individual's rates.

The Local Government Act 1993 requires each property to be categorised as either Farmland, Residential, Business or Mining according to use. These categories may be divided into sub-categories in accordance with Section 529 of the Act. All rates within a category or subcategory must be rated the same, so if your property is categorised as farmland, and it is valued by the NSW Valuer General at $800,000 you will pay the same rates no matter where your farm is located in the SMRC local government area. While Council aims to achieve a fair and equitable outcome, there will be significant increases and decreases in rates levied on individual properties whichever rates structure is chosen.

Rates harmonisation refers to the General rate only. Other charges such as Waste collection, Water and Sewer charges are charged on a user pays basis and are not part of this process or paid for from general rates.

NSW Councils have three options with the way that rates are structured. Under each option, the total amount of rates collected by Council is the same, however, the rates are shared differently among property owners:

Ad Valorem only (rate in the dollar) - Land value multiplied by a rate of cents in the dollar.

Base Rate plus Ad Valorem - Combination of a part Base (fixed) amount plus land value multiplied by an ad valorem rate (currently used in the former Cooma area)

Ad Valorem with a Minimum Rate - Land value multiplied by an ad valorem rate, but properties under a certain land value threshold pay the minimum rate. (currently used in the former Bombala and Snowy areas).

What is a fair and equitable rate structure varies depending on your views?

To allow the community to consider the options a number of models have been developed. These are set out in the documents on this page. There is also information on the rule that apply to how the rates are set up. These may be changing, but for now, the Council needs to start discussing what principles the community feels should be used in distributing the rates across our 14,000 landowners.

Check the impact of the models with this online tool: Rate models check

NEW:

  • Rate model spreadsheet updated to include new model - Simplified approach to rating.
  • Model 6 fact sheet added to show outcomes from a community developed proposal.
  • Fact Sheet 11 - Detailed Comparisons updated for Model 6
  • Fact Sheet 12 - Rate Tables updated to include Model 6.

Once you have read up the information you can complete a survey, ask questions or make a comment in the forum. Please take the time to give your views on what you consider the factors that should drive how we share the cost of providing services to the community.

Following the amalgamation of the former Bombala Council, Cooma Monaro Shire Council and Snowy River Shire Councils in May 2016, IPART imposed a Rate Path Freeze for newly-merged Councils. Ratepayers in new councils had their rates protected against future increases during the rate path freeze period, meaning they paid no more for their rates than they would have in their pre-merger council area.

The NSW State Government legislation requires all merged Councils to implement a harmonised rating structure by 1 July 2021. This is a process where Council reviews the existing rates being charged and develops a single rating structure that distributes the rates burden fairly across the whole Snowy Monaro Regional Council local government area.

This process will not change the overall level of rates raised by the Council. The introduction of a new rating structure will lead to changes in an individual's rates.

The Local Government Act 1993 requires each property to be categorised as either Farmland, Residential, Business or Mining according to use. These categories may be divided into sub-categories in accordance with Section 529 of the Act. All rates within a category or subcategory must be rated the same, so if your property is categorised as farmland, and it is valued by the NSW Valuer General at $800,000 you will pay the same rates no matter where your farm is located in the SMRC local government area. While Council aims to achieve a fair and equitable outcome, there will be significant increases and decreases in rates levied on individual properties whichever rates structure is chosen.

Rates harmonisation refers to the General rate only. Other charges such as Waste collection, Water and Sewer charges are charged on a user pays basis and are not part of this process or paid for from general rates.

NSW Councils have three options with the way that rates are structured. Under each option, the total amount of rates collected by Council is the same, however, the rates are shared differently among property owners:

Ad Valorem only (rate in the dollar) - Land value multiplied by a rate of cents in the dollar.

Base Rate plus Ad Valorem - Combination of a part Base (fixed) amount plus land value multiplied by an ad valorem rate (currently used in the former Cooma area)

Ad Valorem with a Minimum Rate - Land value multiplied by an ad valorem rate, but properties under a certain land value threshold pay the minimum rate. (currently used in the former Bombala and Snowy areas).

What is a fair and equitable rate structure varies depending on your views?

To allow the community to consider the options a number of models have been developed. These are set out in the documents on this page. There is also information on the rule that apply to how the rates are set up. These may be changing, but for now, the Council needs to start discussing what principles the community feels should be used in distributing the rates across our 14,000 landowners.

Check the impact of the models with this online tool: Rate models check

NEW:

  • Rate model spreadsheet updated to include new model - Simplified approach to rating.
  • Model 6 fact sheet added to show outcomes from a community developed proposal.
  • Fact Sheet 11 - Detailed Comparisons updated for Model 6
  • Fact Sheet 12 - Rate Tables updated to include Model 6.

Once you have read up the information you can complete a survey, ask questions or make a comment in the forum. Please take the time to give your views on what you consider the factors that should drive how we share the cost of providing services to the community.

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