Rates and Property

CONTENTS
Introduction
Determining rates
Property valuations
Concessions
Rebates
Rates notice delivery options
Rates payment options 
Rural property address signage


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.


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 NRM levy is collected by Council on behalf of the State Government.

For general information about Council rates visit the Local Government Association Website.

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


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 State's Valuer-General based on his assessment of the  value of the property on 1 January of each year. He 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 their objection with the Valuer General. Council cannot alter valuations.

CONCESSIONS
State Government Concessions
From 1 July 2015, the State Government elected to replace the concession on Council rates with the "Cost of Living Concession" provided directly to those eligible.  This payment may be used for any purpose, including offsetting Council rates. 

The eligibility for a concession on charges for Council Community Waste Water Schemes (CWMS) or council provided water remain unchanged. Should you be eligible for a State Government funded concession on CWMS or council provided water this will be paid directly to you by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) and is no longer provided via your rates notice.

To check eligibility contact the DCSI Concessions Hotline 1800 307 758 or check their website.  

Postponement of Rates
Council now allows ratepayers who hold a State Seniors Card the option of lifetime (or until the property is sold) deferral of part of their rates bill. Councils can agree to more flexible payment arrangements for people who have difficulty meeting quarterly payments. Please contact the Council to arrange a convenient time to discuss and lodge your application form.

Hardship
People experiencing difficulty in paying their rates should contact Council as we may agree to more flexible payment arrangements for those who have difficulty meeting quarterly payments. Under the legislation that governs Council, fines must be imposed when the quarterly amounts are not paid in full by the due dates – but by paying small amounts on a regular basis it gradually reduces the amount outstanding leaving only a small balance to pay on the due date. This will help to minimise or eliminate any fines. Where people are in genuine financial hardship, Council has some capacity to provide assistance through remissions.


REBATES
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.

Council may also provide discretionary rebates under Section 166 of the Act, and currently offers a rebate to some primary production ratepayers. In the 2017-18 financial year, Council provided over $306,000 in rate mandatory and discretionary rebates.

Rate Capping Application
Council has resolved to cap the increase in the rates paid on a principal place of residence to no more than 15%, subject to meeting other conditions.
To be eligible to apply for a rate cap you must meet the following criteria:

  • my rates have increased by more than 15% AND
  • the property is used by me as my principal place of residence, AND
  • there have not been recent improvements to the property worth more than $20,000, OR
  • any change in the land use since 1 January 2017 OR
  • a change of ownership of the property since 1 January 2017

To apply please complete and return the Rate Capping Application Form.

Primary Production Rate Rebate
On application, a Primary Production Rate Rebate of 10% on the differential rate in the dollar applies to those properties that are genuinely in the business of Primary Production.

If you believe you are eligible for the Primary Production Rate Rebate, download and complete form and return it to council.

Please note: The agreement will remain in force from 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2019. The agreement will be automatically cancelled for a particular parcel of land when sold. 

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.

RATES PAYMENT OPTIONS
Online payments
Click here

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.


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".