Part 7 Payment of rates and charges
560 Who is liable to pay rates?
(1) The owner for the time being of land on which a rate is levied is liable to pay the rate to the council, except as provided by this section.
(2) If land owned by the Crown is leased, the lessee is liable to pay the rate, except as provided by subsection (4).
(3) If there are two or more owners, or two or more lessees from the Crown, of the land, they are jointly and severally liable to pay the rate.
(4) The Crown is liable to pay the rate for land owned by the Crown which is subject to the Housing Act 1912 or the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998.
561 Who is liable to pay charges?
The person liable to pay a charge is:
(a) the person who, if the charge were a rate and if the land on which the charge is levied were rateable in respect of that rate, would be liable under section 560 to pay the rate, or
(b) the Crown in respect of land owned by the Crown, not being land held under a lease for private purposes.
562 Payment of rates and annual charges
(1) Annual rates and charges may be paid in a single instalment or by quarterly instalments.
(2) If payment is made by quarterly instalments, each instalment is to be a quarter of the rates or charges, disregarding any remainder, together, in the case of the first instalment, with the remainder. However, if the amount of an instalment, other than the first instalment, is not a multiple of 10 cents, the amount of each instalment in excess of a multiple of 10 cents is to be subtracted from that instalment and added to the first instalment.
(3) Except as provided by subsection (4):
(a) if payment is made in a single instalment, the instalment is payable by 31 August, and
(b) if payment is made by quarterly instalments, the instalments are payable by 31 August, 30 November, 28 February and 31 May.
(4) If the rates and charges notice is not served by 1 August:
(a) the single instalment (if payment is made in a single instalment), or
(b) the first 2 instalments (if payment is made by quarterly instalments),
is or are payable by 30 November, or by the day that is 30 days after service of the notice, whichever is the later.
(5) On or before 31 October, 31 January and 30 April, a council must send reminder notices (to be sent separately from the rates and charges notice) to each person whose rates and charges are being paid by quarterly instalments.
563 Discount for prompt payment in full
A council may discount the amount of a rate or charge to such extent as it determines if the whole of the discounted amount of the rate or charge is paid by a date nominated by the council.
564 Agreement as to periodical payment of rates and charges
(1) A council may accept payment of rates and charges due and payable by a person in accordance with an agreement made with the person.
(2) The council may write off or reduce interest accrued on rates or charges if the person complies with the agreement.
565 Capital contributions instead of payment of special rates or charges
A council may waive payment by a rateable person of the whole or part of a special rate or charge for one or more years as specified by the council if the person pays, or enters into a written agreement to pay, a lump sum towards the capital cost of any works, services or facilities for which the special rate or charge is made.
566 Accrual of interest on overdue rates and charges
(1) Interest accrues on rates and charges that remain unpaid after they become due and payable.
(2) Interest accrues on a daily basis.
(3) The rate of interest is that set by the council but must not exceed the rate specified for the time being by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.
(4) Accrued interest is, for the purpose of its recovery, taken to be a rate or charge which is due and payable.
(5) Interest continues to accrue on unpaid rates or charges even though judgment for payment of the rates or charges may have been obtained in a court. Interest is not payable on the judgment debt, despite any other Act.
567 Writing off of accrued interest
The council may write off accrued interest on rates or charges payable by a person if, in its opinion:
(a) the person was unable to pay the rates or charges when they became due and payable for reasons beyond the person’s control, or
(b) the person is unable to pay the accrued interest for reasons beyond the person’s control, or
(c) payment of the accrued interest would cause the person hardship.
568 Application of payments
Money paid to a council in respect of rates or charges levied on land is to be applied towards payment of those rates or charges in the order in which they became due.
569 Liability of the occupier
(1) A council may serve on an occupier of land a notice of the amount of any rate or charge unpaid in respect of the land or of the amount of any judgment given against a person for any rate or charge unpaid in respect of the land, if the person liable to pay the rate or charge:
(a) is resident outside New South Wales, or
(b) is unknown to the council, or
(c) has not been served in any legal proceedings for the recovery of the rate or charge after reasonable efforts have been made by or on behalf of the council to effect service, or
(d) becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with his or her creditors or makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for their benefit, or
(e) dies, or
(f) has had judgment given against him or her for the amount of the rate or charge.
(2) The notice may demand that any rent in respect of the land is to be paid by the occupier to the council as it falls due in satisfaction of the rate, charge or judgment.
(3) The council may recover the amount of the rate, charge or judgment outstanding as a debt from the occupier if rent is not paid to the council in accordance with the demand.
(4) A payment under this section to the council discharges the payer from any liability to any person to pay the rent.
570 Transfer of land in payment of rates or charges
A council may accept a transfer of the land in respect of which rates or charges are or accrued interest is due and payable in full satisfaction of the rates, charges or accrued interest.
571 What happens if land is transferred?
(1) A person who disposes of an estate in land continues to be liable to pay a rate or charge levied in respect of the land if the rate or charge was levied:
(a) before the estate was disposed of, or
(b) after the estate was disposed of but before notice of the transfer was given as required by this Act.
(2) A person who, as the holder of a licence, permit, permissive occupancy or authority under the Crown Lands Act 1989, was liable for rates or charges continues to be liable to pay a rate or charge levied in respect of the land subject to the licence, permit, permissive occupancy or authority if the rate or charge was levied before the licence, permit, permissive occupancy or authority was terminated or expired.
(3) A person who becomes liable for rates and charges levied on land is liable to the council for a rate or charge owing in respect of the land even though the person was not so liable when the rate or charge was levied.
572 What happens if the rateability of land changes?
(1) A rate is proportionate to the portion of the year for which land is rateable and to the portion of the land which is rateable.
(2) A charge, other than a charge limited under section 503 (2) to the cost of providing a particular service to land, is proportionate to the portion of the year for which land is rateable.
573 What happens if land is subdivided?
If land is subdivided, and a part is sold or let, any unpaid rates or charges may be apportioned by the council on the recommendation of the Valuer-General.
574 Appeal on question of whether land is rateable or subject to a charge
(1) A person who has an estate in land, or who is the holder of a licence or permit for land under the Crown Lands Act 1989, in respect of which a rates and charges notice is served may appeal to the Land and Environment Court:
(a) in the case of a rate—against the levying of the rate on the ground that the land or part of it is not rateable or is not rateable to a particular ordinary rate or a particular special rate, or
(b) in the case of a charge—against the levying of the charge on the ground that the land is not subject to any charge (excluding a charge limited under section 503 (2)) or is not subject to the particular charge.
(2) An appeal may not be made under this section on the ground that land has been wrongly categorised under Part 3.
(3) An appeal must be made within 30 days after service of the rates and charges notice.
(4) If the Land and Environment Court determines that only a part of land is rateable, it is required to determine the value of that part.
Note. While the grounds of appeal concerning rates are limited to those specified in section 574, opportunity is given at different points in the rate-making process for objections, submissions (including submissions by way of objection) and applications to be made to a council concerning rates. These include:
• public notice of the draft management plan
• application for change of category for purposes of ordinary rate
• deferral and reduction of rates.