State government defers the Fire and Emergency Services Levy

On 30 May the NSW Government announced the deferral of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy. It will not appear on Council rates in the 2017/18 financial year.

The full press release is available at www.fesl.nsw.gov.au

Until further notice, the levy will continue to be collected from property owners via home and building insurance premiums.

Payment options Change billing address Rebates for pensioners Access your rates notices online Domestic Waste Management Charge Fire and Emergency Services Levy

Rates are taxes levied by local councils on residential and business properties within their area.

Rates are the major source of income for councils, and they are used to provide essential services and infrastructure for the community.

All rates and charges are exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

What does the new council mean for rates?

Inner West Council was formed by the merger of the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville councils by the NSW State Government on 12 May 2016.

Under the State Government’s rate protection commitment, residents of new councils remain on the same rate path as the previous council for four years. This means residents will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council until at least 2020.

How rates are calculated

Rates and charges are levied on a financial year basis 1 July to 30 June. The original notice which advises of all annual rates and charges is issued in July.

Rates are calculated on the land valuation of a property which is multiplied by a 'rate in the dollar'. The Residential rate category also has a 'base amount', along with a 'rate in the dollar', that spreads the burden of the rates across all ratepayers. The land value is provided to Council by the Valuer General, a State Government authority. Valuer General land valuations are carried out every three years. For more information on how properties are valued, visit www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au.

The total amount of money Council can receive from Rates is "pegged" by the State Government. Each year the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets a maximum % increase in the total money Council can receive from rates. The rate peg in 2017/2018 financial year is 1.5%. Councils can also apply for a "Special Rate Variation" above this rate peg to fund special projects.

Categorisation of land

All rateable land within Inner West Council is categorised as either residential or business, based on its dominant use.

Land is categorised as residential if:

  • Its use is for residential accommodation (but not as a hotel, motel, guest house, backpacker hostel or nursing home)
  • It is vacant land zoned for residential purposes

Land is categorised as business if:

  • It cannot be categorised as farmland, residential or mining
  • The main land uses in the business category are commercial and industrial

If a property has both Residential and Business use, you can apply to either Council or the Valuer General for consideration as a mixed development. If usage of the property changes (e.g. Residential to Business) you must notify Council within 30 days of any such change.

Other Council charges

Domestic Waste Management Charge

In addition to rates, residential ratepayers pay a Domestic Waste Management Charge.

This charge funds Council's household recycling service, green waste service, garbage collection and disposal, booked clean-up service and lane cleaning. It includes landfill tipping fees, as well as the NSW Government Section 88 landfill levy which increases each year as part of the NSW Government's strategy to reduce landfill.

The Domestic Waste Management Charge is exempt from GST.

Stormwater Management Service Charge

A Stormwater Management Service Charge is charged to all Inner West Council ratepayers. It is used to fund important stormwater management initiatives and flood management programs.

The Stormwater Management Service Charge for 2017/18 is as follows:

  • Residential (non-strata): $25.00
  • Residential (strata): $12.50
  • Business: $25.00 per 350m² land area (or part thereof)

Payment of rates and charges

Rates are paid every year. Property owners are sent an annual rates notice listing the rates and charges which are due.

Rates can be paid either in full or in quarterly instalments. If you pay in full, your rates are due by 31 August each year. If you are paying in quarterly instalments, the due dates are as follows:

  • 1st instalment: 31 August
  • 2nd instalment: 30 November
  • 3rd instalment: 28 February
  • 4th instalment: 31 May

Payment options

Visit the payment options page for information on how you can pay your rates.

Late payment

If your annual or quarterly payment is not paid in full by the due date, interest is payable on the amount overdue. Interest is calculated on all overdue rates and charges at the rate set annually by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), and appears on your rates notice.

Buying or selling a property

The responsibility for the payment of rates always remains with the property owner.

When a property is sold, a Certificate of Outstanding Rates and Charges is purchased from Council as part of the conveyancing process. This certificate shows the account balance for the property for the current financial year. At settlement, a calculation is made to determine both the seller's and purchaser's responsibility for the current year's rates.

Purchaser's responsibility = Total rates for the year ÷ 365 × Number of days remaining in financial year

Rebates for pensioners

Council provides a rebate for eligible pensioners.

Change of billing address

If your current billing address is different from the address shown on your most recent rates notice, please notify Council immediately.

Change of name

If you have changed your name by Deed Poll or by marriage you must contact the office of the Land and Property Information (LPI) NSW.

The LPI will require a copy of all supporting documentation to process the alterations to your name. The LPI will alter the title deeds and notify Council of the change.

Access your rates notices online

Help the environment by making paper rates notices a thing of the past – now you can register to access and receive your rates notices online instead.


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