Rates, Fees & Charges

Councils are expected to deliver many services and to provide an acceptable level of public amenity for the benefit of all residents.   These include:

• Animal Control 
• Building, Plumbing and Planning Applications
• Cemeteries 
• Development Works 
• Fire Hazards
• Health 
• Recreational, Sporting & other Community Facilities 
• Roads and stormwater
• Tourism 
• Waste Management

To fund these services council applies rates and charges.  The main source of revenue is a property tax, commonly known as ‘rates'. This tax is based on the assessed annual value of each property on a fixed date for all rateable properties across the municipal area.

Information to help you understand your responsibilities as a ratepayer as well as how allocations of rates and charges, penalties, and concessions may affect you can be found below under Common Rates Questions, and in Council's Rates and Charges Policy and Rates and Charges Brochure available from the following links.

Rates & Charges Policy

Rates and Charges Brochure

Rates Resolution 2016-2017

Council also levies other fees and charges for a number of services it provides.  Council's fees and charges for the 2016/17 Financial Year can be accessed below.

Fees & Charges 2016-2017 


Common Rates Questions

1. What are rates and why do we have them?
2. Who has to pay rates?
3. When are rates due?
4. How can I make payments?
5. What is the Assessed Annual Value (AAV)?
6. What is the capital value?
7. How can I check my rates balance?
8. Do I get a discount if I pay my rates early?
9. Am I entitled to a rates remission?
10. What if I am experiencing difficulties in paying rates?
11. What if my payment is late?
12. What happens if I don't pay my rates? 
13. Can I have my Rates Notices emailed?
14. How do I change my postal address?


 

1. What are rates and why do we have them?

Rates are a tax levied by Council. Their purpose is to support the Council in providing services for the benefit of all residents. Rates help pay for: 
- waste and recycling collection & disposal 
- animal control 
- community safety initiatives 
- street lighting and cleaning 
- local roads, footpaths and drainage 
- stormwater disposal services 
- operation of halls and community centres 
- maintenance of parks, playgrounds and sportsgrounds 
- youth, family and senior services 
- community events 
- State Government charges for a range of services including fire service, planning and libraries 
- other works, programs and facilities. 

Rates are normally made up of a general rate and a service rate and/or charge. Under certain circumstances, a Council may levy a construction rate or charge, or a separate rate. 

The rights and responsibilities of ratepayers and Councils are set out in Part 9 of the Local Government Act 1993. 

General rates 
A general rate is a "progressive" tax, reflecting the land, capital or Assessed Annual Value (AAV) of property. It may involve an additional fixed charge which applies equally to every property. 

A Council may make a general rate whether or not it provides any services to the land upon which the rating is made. 

Service rate or charge 
A Council may make a service rate for any, all, or a combination of the following services: 
- waste management 
- stormwater removal 
- fire protection 
- a community medical service 
- any other prescribed service. 

The service rate is also "progressive", being determined by the same property value as the general rate. Councils may set a minimum amount payable for a service rate if it does not include a fixed charge. 

Councils may levy a service charge in addition to, or instead of, making a service rate. 

A service charge is a fixed charge payable on each property. The charge may differ in various parts of the municipal area depending on the type of service being provided and the circumstances in a particular area. 

If a service is not provided or is unavailable, the prescribed rate or charge for that service may not apply. 

Construction Rate or Charge 
A construction rate or charge may be set by Councils in order to provide the infrastructure currently lacking for stormwater services to land that is within an established drainage district.

Separate Rates
A Council may make a separate rate in respect of any land or class of land within its municipal area. This may occur where, in Council's opinion, there is a need to plan, carry out, make available, maintain or improve anything on behalf of the affected land or owners or occupiers of that land. If a Council decides to make a separate rate it must undertake a consultation process with the ratepayers of the affected land. A separate rate may only be made for a 5 year period before it is subject to a review process and further consultation with affected ratepayers.


 2. Who has to pay rates?

Generally, owners of land have to pay rates. Occupiers of land may pay the rates in exceptional circumstances. They may do so with the written consent of the owners. If someone other than the owner is paying the rates then the Council has to be notified accordingly.


 3. When are rates due?

Rates are paid periodically by a due date or dates set by each Council. A rates notice is posted to ratepayers, allowing approximately 60 days before payment of the entire amount is due, or, if payment is by instalments, at least 30 days before the first payment is due. 

The whole of the rates specified in the rates notice are generally due around the 30 September each year. 

Instalments are due on the following dates: 
- First instalment on or before 31 August 2016 
- Second instalment on or before 31 October 2016 
- Third instalment on or before 28 February 2017
- Fourth instalment on or before 28 April 2017 

If a ratepayer fails to pay any instalment within 21 days of the date on which the rates are due, the Council may require the ratepayer to pay the full amount owing.


 4. How can I make payments?

A Council may allow rates to be paid by instalments instead of by one payment. You should check with Council what arrangements are possible and the dates by which instalments are to be paid. These will be notified in a rates notice issued to each ratepayer. 

Methods of payment are outlined in your rates notice and include payment by: 
- BPay 
- Telephone 
- Internet 
- Direct Debit (download a Direct Debit Request application and Direct Debit Service Agreement information)
- Mail 
- In person 

Visit the Payments page for further information.


 5. What is the Assessed Annual Value (AAV)?

An assessed annual valuation is an assessment of the market value of a property, at a specific date and in accordance with legislation. The Valuer-General determines the AAV under the Valuation of Land Act 2001. 

It is the gross annual income that, at the time of valuation, the owner of the property might reasonably expect to obtain from letting it to a tenant. The assessed annual value of the land cannot be less than 4 per cent of the capital value of the land.


 6. What is the capital value?

It is the expected sum of money that might be realised if the land and any existing dwelling or improvements were offered for sale at a particular time. For instance, on a rates notice, it may show land value as $40,000 and capital value as $125,000. The capital value includes the land value plus the value of any buildings on the site.


 7. How can I check my rates balance?

If you wish to check your rates balance please contact Council on 6383 6350.


 8. Do I get a discount if I pay my rates early?

Yes, if paid in full (not in instalments) before a date specified in the rates notice. 

West Tamar Council offers ratepayers who pay the whole of the rates specified in the rates notice in one payment on or before 30 September each year, a discount of 1.5% upon the current rates and charges.


 9. Am I entitled to a rates remission?

Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, a ratepayer may apply to a Council for remission of all or part of the rates paid or payable. 

To be entitled to apply, the Local Government (Rates and Charges Remissions) Act 1991 requires that a ratepayer must be an eligible person holding one of the following types of current cards and must occupy the property as his or her principle dwelling on or prior to 1 July of the rating year. 

To be eligible to receive a remission you must have: 
- A Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card or
- A Health Care Card or 
- A Department of Veteran's Affairs Repatriation Health "Gold Card" which bears the inscription "War Widow " or "TPI". 
- Applications for rates remissions must be received by council no later than 31 March of the year in which the rates are calculated. 

To apply for a rates remission please download and complete the Rates Remission Application Form.

Retrospective Pension Claims: 

Councils are able to accept a rates remission claim from an eligible pensioner for a previous financial year. That is, if at the time a pensioner makes an application for a rates remission for the 2016-17 financial year, the Council becomes aware that a pensioner was also eligible for 2015-16, a further claim for the 2015-16 financial year can be accepted. 

The retrospective claim is restricted to one year only.  To apply please download and complete the Retrospective Rates Remission Application  Form.


 10. What if I am experiencing difficulties in paying rates?

A ratepayer who is having difficulty in paying rates should contact their local Council at the earliest opportunity to arrange a payment schedule that is agreeable both to council and the ratepayer. This is essential to avoid Council taking legal action to recover the outstanding rates. 

A ratepayer may also apply to council to defer the payment of rates on the grounds of hardship. An application has to be in writing and must be lodged with the Council's General Manager. 

A Council may grant or refuse a deferral application. Any granted deferral may be subject to a condition that the ratepayer pay interest on the amount due.


 11. What if my payment is late?

If a ratepayer does not pay the rates on his or her property a Council may commence legal action against the ratepayer to recover the outstanding amount. If Council takes such legal action the ratepayer may also be liable for the Council's legal costs associated with the action. 

If rates, or any one rates instalment, are not paid on or before they fall due, the Council may impose a penalty not exceeding 10% of the amount owing, and/or charge a daily interest rate determined by the Council.


 12. What happens if I don't pay my rates?

If rates are not paid for a period exceeding three years, the Council may sell a property or part of a property to recover the unpaid rates. The Council can sell it by public auction or by direct sale. 

If the owner of a property cannot be found, the Council may apply to have that property transferred to the Council. 


 

13. Can I have my Rates Notice's emailed?

Yes send an email to wtc@wtc.tas.gov.au and you MUST include the following details as shown on your rates notice;
◾Assessment Number
◾Property Address
◾Preferred Email Address
◾Full Name of Owner/Ratepayer
◾Contact Phone No.


 

14. How do I change my postal address?

You can send an email to wtc@wtc.tas.gov.au and you MUST include your Assessment Number from your notice

OR;

Fill out a change of address form attached below.

 Change of Address.pdf 


 

 

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