A New Rates Structure - Revenue Policy Exhibition

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Council has been working through the process of determining what is the best rate structure to move forward with for the Snowy Monaro community and has adopted a structure where there are the following categories of rates:

  • Business - All land that meets the definition of business land other than land which meets the criteria for the business sub category of electricity generation.
  • Business: Electricity Generation - All land that meets the definition of business land and is used for the purpose of electricity generation.
  • Farmland - All land that meets the definition of farmland.
  • Mining - All land that meets the definition of mining.
  • Residential - All land that meets the definition of residential land.

Each ratable parcel of land will pay a base rate. The base rate will be the same for all landowners other than land covered by the electricity generation subcategory or mining category. The base rate will be determined by calculating the highest value it can be and still meet the legislative requirement to raise no more than 50% of the revenue from the category from the base rate. On top of the base rate will be an ad valorem rate, being the cents in the dollar that is multiplied by the land value to raise the balance of the rates revenue.

For 2021-22 the following amounts are included for the rate structure for the business, farmland and residential categories:

Base Rate: $475.00

Ad Valorem: $0.0033568

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.

To see the impact the change will have on you you can enter your rate assessment number to see your current rates and what they will change to next year: Click here NOTE: An error had been identified in the figures and Council has updated the information on 4 June 2021 with the correct information.

Copies of the documents can be downloaded from the document library (right of the screen), or hard copies will be available for viewing at our Council offices and libraries.

Feedback can be submitted by completing the below form, or in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.

In-person: to any Council office

Email: council@snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au

Post: Snowy Monaro Regional Council PO BOX 714 Cooma NSW 2630

Do you have a question relating to any of the draft document?

Phone our customer service line 1300 345 345.

Please submit your feedback by midnight Thursday 24 June 2021.

Council has been working through the process of determining what is the best rate structure to move forward with for the Snowy Monaro community and has adopted a structure where there are the following categories of rates:

  • Business - All land that meets the definition of business land other than land which meets the criteria for the business sub category of electricity generation.
  • Business: Electricity Generation - All land that meets the definition of business land and is used for the purpose of electricity generation.
  • Farmland - All land that meets the definition of farmland.
  • Mining - All land that meets the definition of mining.
  • Residential - All land that meets the definition of residential land.

Each ratable parcel of land will pay a base rate. The base rate will be the same for all landowners other than land covered by the electricity generation subcategory or mining category. The base rate will be determined by calculating the highest value it can be and still meet the legislative requirement to raise no more than 50% of the revenue from the category from the base rate. On top of the base rate will be an ad valorem rate, being the cents in the dollar that is multiplied by the land value to raise the balance of the rates revenue.

For 2021-22 the following amounts are included for the rate structure for the business, farmland and residential categories:

Base Rate: $475.00

Ad Valorem: $0.0033568

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.

To see the impact the change will have on you you can enter your rate assessment number to see your current rates and what they will change to next year: Click here NOTE: An error had been identified in the figures and Council has updated the information on 4 June 2021 with the correct information.

Copies of the documents can be downloaded from the document library (right of the screen), or hard copies will be available for viewing at our Council offices and libraries.

Feedback can be submitted by completing the below form, or in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.

In-person: to any Council office

Email: council@snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au

Post: Snowy Monaro Regional Council PO BOX 714 Cooma NSW 2630

Do you have a question relating to any of the draft document?

Phone our customer service line 1300 345 345.

Please submit your feedback by midnight Thursday 24 June 2021.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Why is Council doing this?

Because we have to. Our current rate structures do not comply with the legislation. Even minimising the change as much as possible leads to a lot of change. We have looked at options to minimise the change within the options under consideration.  


Will this mean rates will go up?

Whichever rates structure is used, there will be significant Increases for some landowners and decreases for others. Harmonisation will have the same sort of impacts as rate revaluations. One of the few things you cannot do is keep everyone’s rates at the same level. There will be winners and losers. Overall the Council will receive the same amount of income as if harmonisation was not undertaken.

 

Why is there no mention of water, sewer or garbage rates?

Harmonisation only applies to the general rates. Those areas a funded by special rates and charges, which are raised under separate parts of the Local Government Act. General rates do not cover the costs of any of those services.


Do Snowy Hydro or NPWS pay rates on their properties?

Snowy Hydro, as a Commonwealth Government owned corporation does pay rates. NPWS, who are owned by the Crown (NSW Government) are generally exempt from rates.


Can we set different rates on dual occupancy sites than the single dwellings, as the dual occupancy creates more demand for services?

No. These are both residential category land and as such we can only separate them based on centers of population.


Can we set different rates for properties used as tourist rentals?

No. Under the legislation tourist rental properties are classed as residential for rating purposes, so we can only differentiate based on the centre of population, not the use. Hotels and motels are treated as business.


Why is Council doing this so late? the other Councils have already done this.

Earlier in the year the Council was in the middle of introducing a new computer system. This was a complex process and took up the same people's time as would have been involved in this process. Rather than hire in a consultant we deferred this process to undertake it in the lead up to the development of the rates. This also means that less people will have forgotten the conversations around the need for the change when they get their rates account.


How is land valued?

Below is a link the NSW Valuer General website for further information regarding land values:

https://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/land_values/how_do_we_value_land/valuation_assumptions_and_considerations


What about the new legislation that is coming in?

When the legislation is enacted we will look to see what options it provides. We are aware of the legislation and are ensuring that we can respond to any changes that are legislated. Some aspects Council will not be in a position to act on as the lead time to consider the matters (For example introducing and environmental category) may take longer than what we will have available.

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    Does Sport and Recreation Jindabyne pay rates? I understand churches,Scouts do not pay rates however when they provide accommodation i.e. seventh day adventist camp and Scouts and Sport and Rec do they then pay rates???

    flora asked 2 months ago

    These types of land are exempt whether or not they provide accommodation.

    Sport and Rec Jindabyne is a facility owned and operated by the NSW Government. NSW Government properties are exempt from rates unless they are held under a lease for private purposes. (Local Government Act 1991, section 555 (1)(a))

    Religious bodies are exempt on land that includes:

    (i) a church or other building used or occupied for public worship, or

    (iii) a building used or occupied for the purpose of religious teaching or training. (Section 555 (1)(e).

    While there are provisions to allow for land to be rated based on part of the area being not used for the above purposes, if the facilities are used for those purposes it becomes exempt from rates even when used for other purposes. Properties owned by registered public benevolent societies are exempt only from general rates (Section 556 (1)(h)), but the same principles apply, that if it is used part time for the purposes of the PBI the exemption applies even if used for other purposes.


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    I don't receive any council/government benefits (Live off grid) what changes will be made for each/all models?

    .... asked 2 months ago

    You still have access to benefits such as a road network when you travel anywhere or need things brought in. Council's also pay for part of the costs of the Rural Fire Service, another service provided to your class of property. Then there are services that Council is required under the legislation to provide to the community. These have been included as being shared by the entire community, as they have to be funded irrespective of whether they are desired by the community. The other aspect to consider is that this is a tax to cover community services, not a user pays system.

    Model 1 and 2 are the models that reflect where the costs of Council link back to the various rate categories. 

    The expectation is that a costs/benefit models will lead to lower rates outside the main townships. The models indicate that this is overall not the case. In the rural areas this is not because a higher level of service is provided, but due to the fact that the cost of the service needs to be spread over a much smaller number of landowners. As the largest cost of Council is roads, the impact of maintaining the road lengths in the rural areas well outweighs the cost per ratepayer of services such as pool, libraries, halls, parks, etc.

    The difference between the two models is that in Model 1 the costs are separated out for smaller village centres. This led to relatively high average rates in those centres. The average household income in those centres is lower than average, so Council does not see that outcome as fair and equitable. It also did not appear to align with the capacity to pay. This led to Model 2 being developed. In that model the cost of services to the villages is spread across all rural residential and farmland landowners. This cross subsidisation lowers the average rates in the villages and increases the average in the categories for those outside the villages.

    The legislation under which rates are calculated do not allow for variations based on whether land owners receive government benefits or whether they are connected to an electricity provider. There are separate rebates that are provide to certain pension recipients, but those are provide separately from the rate structure.

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    Should council wait until after the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) Ammendment legislation is passed in its final form BEOFRE pushing on with this rates harmonisation agenda, becasue there is always a risk that the legislation might not be passed now that the goverment is likely to lose its majority in the house of reps? Surely we would be better informed to make a decision on this imprtant issue when we know the detail odf the ammended legislation? Andrew (of) THALER

    Andrew THALER asked 3 months ago

    Council has to meet the current legislation and this requires the Council to have in place a Operational Plan that includes a Revenue Policy, which has to include the rate structure, by 30 June 2021. The Office of Local Government has indicated that the plans are not required to be in place until 31 July, but the current regulation only provided that exemption for an Operational Plan commencing 1 July 2020. Our current rate structure does not meet the legislation as it stands. If the proposed changes do not go through, the Council will still need to change the rate structure.

    The earliest that the proposed bill can be passed is in May. This would not provide much time to develop models and undertake the required consultation. Council wants to consult on the general principles that it should apply and this will lead to a decision on the rate structure. That rate structure then needs to be placed on public exhibition.

    The proposed legislation will be closely monitored and may provide other options if passed. If it does the Council will consider how it can use those options to achieve the best outcomes for the community along with the feedback already received.

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    How do I find the Model Data Spreadsheet?? Bill.

    Bill Stephens asked 3 months ago

    If you look on the right hand side there is a section called documents. Scroll down until you find the one called model data.