Rates and Property

CONTENTS
Introduction
Determining rates
Property valuations (including information on the Revaluation Initiative by the Office of the Valuer-General)
Rebates, Rates Relief and other information 
Rates notice delivery options
Rates payment options 
Rural property address signage
Mandatory rebates as set by the Local Government Act


INTRODUCTION
Each year, following public consultation, Council adopts an Annual Business Plan. This is a public statement of the intended programs and services and what Council believes the community can afford in rates. A summary of the Annual Business Plan is included with your rates notice along with information on where to view the full plan.
Once Council sets its rates for the year, it sends out a rates notice advising the amount, the date for payment and how the rates can be paid. Rates are payable quarterly and penalties apply for late payment.

To make payments on rates, infringements, registration and debts, please click here to visit our payment portal.

2020-21 Rates Notices have now gone out to residents. As well as your rates notice, residents choosing to receive their notice by post will also find a copy of our Annual Business Plan Summary 2021-22 and a quick reference giving an overview of the Valuer-General's Revaluation Project.

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DETERMINING RATES
Having determined its expenditure budget, Council then divides the portion of the budget to be raised from rates by the sum of all property values in its area. This calculates what is called a 'rate in the dollar'. Each individual property value is then multiplied by the 'rate in the dollar' to produce the rates bill for the property. The total rates paid by the community will equal the amount set in the budget.

Rates are calculated as a Fixed Charge plus a Variable Charge levied on the Valuer General's valuation of your property.  The Fixed Charge provides a mechanism to recognise that all properties have access to core Council services, regardless of valuation, and need to make a contribution to the cost of providing those services.  The remainder of the rates calculation is based on an average percentage charge on the value of all properties in the Council area.
The rate in the dollar is reviewed annually to ensure it only raises the budgeted amount required. Valuations do not determine the rates income of Council and as a result, Council does not gain windfalls from valuation increases.
The Regional Landscape levy is collected by Council on behalf of the State Government.

For general information about Council rates visit the Local Government Association website. For information specific to the Office of the Valuer-General's revaluation initiative, please visit the Office of the Valuer-General website.

For information specific to Adelaide Hills Council rates please refer to the latest Annual Business Plan & Budget and Annual Report on our Council Documents pages.

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PROPERTY VALUATIONS
Rates are based on property values. Council rates are a form of property taxation and depend upon property values. Valuations play an important part in determining how much each ratepayer will pay. Rates are not a fee for services provided to individual ratepayers but a tax. 

Generally the Act expects that the higher the value of the property the higher the rates to be paid. For example, a person with a property valued at $250,000 will contribute less than someone with a property valued at $500,000 in the same Council area. 
Values are set by the Office of the Valuer-General based on its assessment of the value of the property on 1 January of each year. The Office of the Valuer-General provides Council with these values each May to be used in setting rates for the next financial year. Ratepayers can object to a valuation if they believe it is inaccurate, and must lodge an objection with the Office of the Valuer-General. Council cannot alter valuations.

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Office of the Valuer-General Revaluation Initiative (from The Office of the Valuer-General website)
The Revaluation Initiative forms part of the annual General Valuation and does not equate to a blanket change in value for all properties. There are approximately 935,000 property valuation records, with site and capital values for each resulting in over 1,850,000 assessments undertaken annually. The Revaluation Initiative is being undertaken to improve the accuracy of the General Valuation.

Click here to download a fact sheet from the Office of the Valuer-General, or view their video, below.


Click here to download a quick summary about the revaluation, as delivered in posted rates notices.

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REBATES, RATE RELIEF AND OTHER INFORMATION

Revaluation Relief Rebate
As a result of the Revaluation Initiative Project undertaken by the Office of the Valuer-General across all of South Australia, Council has noted increased variability in valuation increases within the Council area, particularly within primary production land use.

Council is proposing to reduce the impact of significant valuation changes for 2021-22 by:

  • Applying a rate rebate to all land use categories (expanding the rebate from principal place of residence only),
  • Setting the rate rebate at 12.5%, being 10% on top of the proposed 2.5% increase (previously 15%),
  • Making rebates automatic, but retaining an application process if needed,
  • Adjusting the exclusion of change of ownership properties to those properties sold after 30 June 2020 (previously from 1 January 2020).

The Revaluation Relief Rebate will be automatically applied to residents' accounts where relevant.

To be eligible to apply for an alternate rebate you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your rates have increased by more than 12.5% AND
  • There have NOT been recent improvements made to the property since 1 July 2020 worth more than $20,000, unless the ratepayer is located within the Cudlee Creek Bush Fire scar as determined by Council, OR
  • Any change to the land use of property since 1 January 2020, OR
  • A change of ownership of the rateable property since 30 June 2020 (excluding family transfers).

To apply please complete and return the Revaluation Relief Rebate Application Form.

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Hardship

People experiencing difficulty in paying their rates should contact Council as we can agree to more flexible payment arrangements for those who have difficulty meeting quarterly payments or postponement of rates for an agreed period of time. 

Council offers postponement for a period of time without penalty as any postponement will provide the necessary time to help us determine whether the impact has been temporary or permanent. The postponement option would require some form of supporting documentation that your income has been reduced as a result of hardship.

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Postponement of Rates – Seniors
Ratepayers who hold a State seniors card (or who are eligible to hold one or have applied for one) are able to apply to Council to postpone payment of rates on their principal place of residence.  Postponed rates remain as a charge on the land and are not required to be repaid until the property is sold or disposed of.  Interest is charged on the postponed amount.  Please contact the Council to arrange a convenient time to discuss and lodge your application form.

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Primary Production Rate Rebate
As part of its Rating Policy Council offers a discretionary rebate for primary production properties genuinely in the business of primary production, but not benefitting from a notional capital value for their property. These ratepayers are eligible to apply for a 10% rebate on their differential rate. Click here to download and complete the Primary Production Rebate Application form.

As this rebate was implemented in 2008-09 to address the removal of a primary production differential rate, it is considered that this rebate should continue to be made to those ratepayers in the business of primary production who have been granted this rebate in any of the last three rating years (2018-19, 2019-20, or 2020-21).

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RATES NOTICE DELIVERY OPTIONS

Adelaide Hills Council ratepayers can now opt to receive, pay and store quarterly rates notices electronically via:

EZYbill - rates notices are delivered via email
Receiving your rates notice electronically will make it easier and more convenient for you to manage your payments, save paper and reduce waste. You'll have your notice accessible on any electronic device (phone, tablet, laptop or desktop) and at your fingertips whenever you are ready to pay your rates; anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here to set up EZYbill and receive your rates notices via email.
You will need to set up a new account before completing registration information. Follow the 'sign up now' buttons on the home page to quickly create an account.

Once you have an EZYbill account you can register for eRates. You will need your most recent rates notice; the assessment number and balance payable.

BPAY View
We send your quarterly rates notice straight to the same online bank you use to pay them. With convenient email, SMS or bank message reminders and secure online or mobile access, BPAY View makes it easy to pay on time, every time from anywhere in the world.  Click here to find out more

Follow three simple steps to sign up:

  1. Login to your online banking account
  2. Look for the BPAY View or View Bills section
  3. Register to receive your Adelaide Hills Council rates notice, providing your Name, Valuation Number and Reference number

Once you are registered and have added Adelaide Hills Council as a provider, the next quarterly rates notice will be delivered into the electronic mailbox and can be viewed and/or paid through these portals. After registration, paper notices will no longer be issued via postal delivery.

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RATES PAYMENT OPTIONS
Online payments
Click here for online payments

Direct Debit
Apply to have your Rates payments automatically debited from your account.
Complete the relevant form below and return to Council.

  1. Unconditional Direct Debit form - use this form for an ongoing, non-expiring payment
  2. Conditional Direct Debit form - use this form to nominate a payment end date

View the Direct Debit Service Agreement here. 

BPay
Telephone or internet payment may be made through your participating financial institution.
Look for the BPay details on your rates notice.

For further information visit the BPay website

By Telephone
Please call 1300 012 388 to pay your account over the telephone (Master Card or Visa only).
This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Australia Post
Use the deposit slip provided at the bottom of the front page of your Rates Notice. Payments after the due date will be accepted. Please Note: Australia Post service excludes some small rural postal outlets that only provide post box facilities.

By mail
Detach the payment slip on your Rates notice, complete and return to:

Adelaide Hills Council
PO Box 44
WOODSIDE  SA  5244

In person
Click here for our Customer Service Centre locations.
Please note cash payments are not accepted at service centres.

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RURAL PROPERTY ADDRESS SIGNAGE
Landowners are responsible for production, maintenance and replacement of rural property address signage. Please use one of the two following options to produce your property address sign.

Sign Writer
Click here to download a template to provide to a signwriter. The size used throughout the Adelaide Hills is 'D', and the Road Name uses abbreviations such RD for Road.

DIY
If you choose to make your own sign please ensure it is clearly visible from the road where you enter your property. The standard way to label your address is the road number, road name and the abbreviated road type e.g. "7 ADELAIDE RD".

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MANDATORY REBATES AS SET BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT
The Local Government Act 1999 (the Act) provides for rebates for rates in certain circumstances. Sections 159-165 of the Act lists those that must receive rebates and include:

  • health services;
  • community services;
  • religious purposes;
  • public cemeteries; and
  • educational purposes.

To apply please complete and return the Mandatory or Discretionary Rebate Application Form.

Council may also provide discretionary rebates under Section 166 of the Act, and currently offers a rebate to some primary production ratepayers.

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Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
 
© Copyright Adelaide Hills Council 2020