What are differential rates?

    Differential rates mean there is a different rate for different groups ie: residential, commercial and industrial. The reason for them is so one group isn’t burdened by rate increases more significantly than others.

    How are my rates calculated?

    The rates paid on residential property is calculated based on the potential rental value of the premises and the operating requirements of Council.

    The rates you pay are a proportionate share of what is needed by Council to provide local services and facilities.

    That is, if your home has greater potential rental return than your neighbours, you will pay a higher share of the total rates budgeted by Council.

    Will my rates go up this year?

    An increase, decrease or maintain has yet to be determined. This will take place as part of the budgeting process with council and administration. 

    What do I get for my rates?

    Council operates 27 service areas that cover services run from facilities such as the library and leisure centres, as well as community development programs, such as events, public art programs and safety initiatives, and operational services with capital works, maintenance and improvements for roads, footpaths, parks and waste collection, plus building and development compliance, strategic and place planning services, environmental health, animal control, local business support, customer and administration services.

    How does the State and Federal Government impact the Council budget?

    Increased cost shifting and legislation from State Government mean increased administration costs for Councils to facilitate the collection of fees for various services and rebates. When the State Government increases the cost of power, water and other utilities, these costs are passed on to you via rate increases.

    All Councils also rely on and compete for additional funds from the State and Federal Government through assistance grants and funding bid opportunities. Without these we would not be able to implement large scale infrastructure projects or subsidise health and safety initiatives such as installing CCTV cameras.

    Why is there a new rating category for vacant land?

    The new rating category aims to encourage absent owners of vacant land to develop and infill to support the local economy and improve visual amenity of our neighbourhoods. 

    The proposed rate in the dollar for vacant land is 74.6% higher than the residential rate in the dollar, and 83.5% higher than the residential minimum rates. 

    The new rating category also includes the ongoing maintenance and service provision of Town assets and services.

    The Town considers the development of all vacant rateable land to be in the best interests of the community as it will improve the vibrancy of the Town and neighbourhood centres.

    How do the proposed differential rates for 2021-2022 compare to recent years?

    In 2019/20, Council adopted a 0% increase in rates. This was followed by a 7.88% rate reduction in 2020/21 to support our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    With the worst of the pandemic behind us, the proposed differential rates for 2021/2022 would see a 2% rate revenue increase – still far below pre-COVID rates.