Local Government Act 1993 No 30
Historical version for 17 July 2001 to 31 August 2001 (accessed 29 November 2014 at 17:07) Current version

Part 8 Concessions

Division 1 Concessions for pensioners

575   Reductions for eligible pensioners

(1)  If an eligible pensioner is the person solely liable, or a person jointly liable with one or more other persons, for a rate or charge levied on land on which a dwelling is situated, the rate or charge is, on application to the council and on production to the council of evidence sufficient to enable it to calculate the amount of the reduction, to be reduced in accordance with this section.
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the amount by which a rate or charge is required to be reduced is:
(a)  if the person making the application is, on the date on which the rate or charge is levied, an eligible pensioner who is solely liable or jointly liable with one or more jointly eligible occupiers but with no other person for the rate or charge—one-half of the rate or charge, or
(b)  if the person making the application is, on the date on which the rate or charge is levied, an eligible pensioner who is jointly liable with one other person who is not a jointly eligible occupier, or with two or more other persons, any of whom is not a jointly eligible occupier for the rate or charge—an amount that bears to one-half of the rate or charge the same proportion as the part of that rate or charge for which, as between all persons liable to pay the rate or charge, the applicant and any jointly eligible occupier are liable bears to the whole of that rate or charge.
(3)  The total amount by which:
(a)  all ordinary rates and charges for domestic waste management services levied on any land for the same year are reduced is not to exceed $250, and
(b)  all water supply special rates or charges so levied are reduced is not to exceed $87.50, and
(c)  all sewerage special rates or charges so levied are reduced is not to exceed $87.50.

However, if subsection (2) (b) applies, the maximum amounts specified in this subsection are to be proportionately reduced in line with the proportion applicable under subsection (2) (b).

(4)  If a person becomes an eligible pensioner after the day on which a rate or charge is made and levied, the person is entitled to a reduction under this section of the rate or charge proportionate to the number of full quarters remaining after the day on which the person becomes an eligible pensioner in the year for which the rate or charge is made.
(5)  A person who is an eligible pensioner or a jointly eligible occupier is, to the extent to which any rate or charge that, but for this section, would be payable by the person is reduced under this section, discharged from liability as between that person and any other person jointly liable to pay the rate or charge.

576   Application of this Division to postponed rates

If the payment of part of a rate which is required to be reduced by section 575 is postponed under Division 2, the amount of the rate for the purposes of this Division is taken to be the amount of that part of the rate that is not postponed under Division 2.

577   Extension of concession to avoid hardship

(1)  If a council considers it proper to do so to avoid hardship, the council may, by order, direct that:
(a)  a person specified in the order:
(i)  who occupies a dwelling as his or her sole or principal place of living, which dwelling is the sole or principal place of living of an eligible pensioner, and
(ii)  who is jointly liable with that eligible pensioner or with that eligible pensioner and one or more other persons in respect of the land on which that dwelling is situated, and
(iii)  in respect of whom a reduction of rates or charges would not, if that person were solely liable in respect of that land, be required to be made under this Division, or
(b)  any person belonging to a class of persons specified in the order, being persons referred to in paragraph (a),
is, on and from the effective date of the order, taken, for the purposes of this Division, to be or to have been an eligible pensioner.
(2)  If a council considers it proper to do so to avoid hardship, the council may, by order, direct that:
(a)  an eligible pensioner specified in the order who, although not liable, or although liable jointly with one or more other persons, to do so, has, for such period as, in the opinion of the council, warrants the making of an order under this section in respect of that person, paid the whole of the rates or charges for the land on which that dwelling is situated or is, in the opinion of the council, likely to pay the whole of the rates or charges in circumstances that in the opinion of the council warrant the making of an order under this subsection, or
(b)  any person belonging to a class of persons specified in the order being persons referred to in paragraph (a),
is, on and from the effective date of the order, taken, for the purposes of this Division, to be or to have been the person solely liable in respect of the land on which the dwelling is situated.
(3)  An order under this section has effect according to its tenor.

578   When does an order under sec 577 take effect?

(1)  An order under section 577 takes effect (or is taken to take effect) on such date as is specified in the order (the effective date), being a date in the year commencing on 1 July during which the order is made, whether or not that date is before or after the date on which the order is made.
(2)  If a council makes an order under section 577 that is taken to take effect on a date that is before the date of the making of the order, the council may, in that order or in a subsequent order, give such directions as to refunding any rates or charges that have been paid and the charging of interest on overdue rates or charges and as to such other matters as the council thinks fit.
(3)  An order under subsection (2) has effect according to its tenor.

579   When and how is an application made for the purposes of this Division?

(1)  An application under this Division is to be made within the time and in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
(2)  If no such regulations are in force, the application is to be made within the time and in the manner fixed by resolution of the council and, if an application is made for an order referred to in section 577, as the council may require.
(3)  If, pursuant to an application made under this Division, a reduced rate or charge applies, the council may, if the eligibility of the applicant for a reduction in a subsequent rate or charge is verified by the council as prescribed by the regulations, reduce the subsequent rate or charge without requiring a further application under this Division.

580   Variation by regulation of amounts of reductions

The amount by which a rate or charge is to be reduced in accordance with this Division may be varied from time to time by the regulations.

581   Reimbursement of councils by Parliament

The Minister is required, out of money provided by Parliament, to pay to the council an amount equal to half that written off by the council under this Division because of section 575.

582   Abandonment of pensioners rates and charges

A council may waive or reduce rates, charges and interest due by any person prescribed by the regulations who is in receipt of a pension, benefit or allowance under the Social Security Act 1991 of the Commonwealth.

583   Writing off of pensioners rates and charges

(1)  A council is to write off amounts of rates, charges and interest which are reduced or waived under this Division.
(2)  A council may not take proceedings to recover an amount so written off unless the amount has been written off because of a wilfully false statement in an application under this Division or except as provided by section 584.

584   Ending of concession

(1)  If circumstances occur that cause a person’s entitlement to a reduction, under this Division, of rates or charges to cease, the entitlement is taken to cease on the last day of the quarterly instalment period during which those circumstances occur.
(2)  If, at the time the entitlement is taken to cease, the rates or charges for the whole year, reduced under this Division, have been paid in full, the portion of the payment that is proportionate to the quarterly instalment periods remaining after that time is to be credited to the rates or charges payable in respect of that part of the year remaining after that time.

Division 2 Other concessions

Note. This Division enables a ratepayer to apply for a postponement of part of rates on land which is used only as the site of a house or rural land but, because of its zoning or permitted use, is valued for rating purposes in a way that reflects its permitted use rather than its actual use.

This Division also entitles the Maritime Services Board, the State Rail Authority and the State Transit Authority to a 25% rebate for ordinary rates payable for certain land.

Other rating concessions may be provided under other Acts. For example, section 127 of the Heritage Act 1977 provides for rates to be levied on heritage valuations determined in accordance with that Act instead of on other valuations.

585   Who may apply for postponement of rates?

The rateable person for land described in any of the following paragraphs may apply to the council for a postponement of rates payable for the land in the current or following rating year (or in both years):
(a)  a parcel of land on which there is a single dwelling-house used or occupied as such and which is zoned or otherwise designated for use under an environmental planning instrument for the purposes of industry, commerce or the erection of residential flat buildings, not being land referred to in paragraph (b) or (c),
(b)  a parcel of land (which may comprise one or more lots or portions in a current plan) on which there is a single dwelling-house used or occupied as such and which is zoned or otherwise designated under an environmental planning instrument so as to permit its subdivision for residential purposes, not being land referred to in paragraph (c),
(c)  a parcel of rural land (which may comprise one or more lots or portions in a current plan) which is zoned or otherwise designated under an environmental planning instrument so as to permit its use otherwise than as rural land, or its subdivision into two or more lots or portions, one or more of which has an area of less than 40 hectares.

586   Applications to be referred to Valuer-General

(1)  The council must refer the application to the Valuer-General to determine the attributable part of the land value of the land if the council is satisfied that the land is described in section 585 (a), (b) or (c).
(2)  The Valuer-General must determine the attributable part of the land value and notify the council of the determination.

587   Attributable part of land value of land

(1)  The attributable part of the land value of land described in section 585 (a) or (b) is determined by deducting from the land value the value that the land would have if the land could be used only as the site of a single dwelling-house.
(2)  The attributable part of the land value of land described in section 585 (c) that may be used otherwise than as rural land is determined by deducting from the land value the value that the land would have if the land could be used only as rural land.
(3)  The attributable part of the land value of land described in section 585 (c) that may be subdivided into one or more lots having an area of less than 40 hectares is determined by deducting from the land value the value that the land would have if the land could only be subdivided into lots having an area of 40 hectares or more.

588   Determination of attributable part of land value by Valuer-General

The Valuer-General must not, in determining the attributable part of the land value of land described in section 585 (a) or (b), take into account any portion of the land which the Valuer-General considers to be in excess of that which is reasonably necessary to be occupied or used in conjunction with the single dwelling-house.

589   Redetermination of attributable part of land value

(1)  If a valuation for which the attributable part of the land value of land was determined is altered on objection or for the correction of a clerical error or misdescription, the council must require the Valuer-General to redetermine the attributable part of the land value of the land.
(2)  The Valuer-General must, on redetermination of the attributable part of the land value of land, notify the council of the redetermination.

590   Use of determination of attributable part of land value

The attributable part of the land value of land determined, or redetermined, by the Valuer-General may be used by a council for the purpose of postponing rates only while the circumstances that made the land eligible for a postponement of rates under this Division continue to exist and the valuation of the land value for which the determination was made remains in use for rating purposes.

591   Postponement of rates

(1)  A council must, in accordance with this section, postpone the payment of rates for land in any rating year for which a determination or redetermination of the attributable part of the land value is in force.
(2)  For land for which no base amount of a rate is specified, the amount of the rate postponed is to be the same proportion of the rate as the attributable part of the land value bears to the land value.
(3)  For land for which a base amount of a rate is specified, the amount of the rate postponed is to be the same proportion of the ad valorem amount of the rate as the attributable part of the land value bears to the land value.

592   Interest on postponed rates

Interest accrues on parts of rates postponed under this Division as if the rates were overdue rates and, for this purpose, the due dates for payment are taken to be the respective dates on which the parts of the rates which were payable became due.

593   Paid rates to be refunded

The council must refund to a rateable person any amount of rates paid by the person which exceeds the amount of the rates remaining after part of the rates is postponed.

594   Adjustment of rates

On a redetermination of the attributable part of the land value of land, a council must adjust amounts payable for rates or to be postponed as appropriate. Any amounts paid in excess are to be refunded and amounts short-paid are recoverable as arrears of rates.

595   Rates to be written off after 5 years

(1)  If 5 years have elapsed since the commencement of a rating year for which part of the rates levied on land have been postponed under this Division, the part postponed and any interest accrued on that part must be written off by the council.
(2)  Nothing in this section affects the right of the council to recover rates and interest, even though they have been written off under this section, if it subsequently appears to the council that they should not have been written off.

596   Change of circumstances

A rateable person for land for which an application has been made under this Division but not determined, or for which a determination or redetermination of the attributable part of the land value is in force, must inform the council (within 1 month) if land used or occupied solely as a site for a single dwelling-house, or as rural land, ceases to be so used or occupied.

597   Entitlement to postponement ceases

A person ceases to be entitled to a postponement of rates under this Division if the whole of a parcel of land used or occupied solely as a site for a single dwelling-house, or as rural land, ceases to be so used or occupied.

598   Redetermination on partial change of circumstances

(1)  If part only of a parcel of land used or occupied solely as the site of a single dwelling-house or as rural land ceases to be so used or occupied, the council must require the Valuer-General to determine the amount of the attributable part of the land value of the land (if any) in relation to that part of the land and each other part of the land.
(2)  The council must, in accordance with the Valuer-General’s redetermination, make a due adjustment to the rates payable, or apply the provisions postponing rates, as it considers equitable in the circumstances.

599   When and how is an application made for the purposes of this Division?

(1)  An application under this Division is to be made within the time and in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
(2)  If no such regulations are in force, the application is to be made within the time and in the manner fixed by resolution of the council.
(3)  If, pursuant to an application made under this Division, a reduced rate applies, the council may, if the eligibility of the rateable person for a reduction in a subsequent rate is verified by the council as prescribed by the regulations, reduce the subsequent rate without requiring a further application under this Division.

600   Rebates in respect of certain land vested in public bodies

(1)  The rateable person in respect of a parcel of land vested in a public body is entitled to a rebate of 25 per cent of the ordinary rate made and leviable on the land or, if on objection by the council the Minister determines a lesser rebate, the lesser rebate.
(2)  The amount of the rebate is to be written off and abandoned by the council.
(3)  The rebate is to be allowed only if:
(a)  access to the parcel is wholly or substantially over other lands for which the public body provides at its own cost such services as materially benefit the parcel, and
(b)  the parcel is included in the then current list referred to in subsection (5), and
(c)  the council has not objected to the inclusion of the parcel in the list or its objection has been dismissed.
(4)  The rate notice must state the amount of the rebate, and, if an objection has been lodged under this section, must not be served unless and until the objection has been determined.
(5)  A public body in which is vested any parcel of land in respect of which the rateable person is entitled to a rebate under this section must furnish to the council not later than 30 April before the commencement of the year for which the rate is made a list setting out the parcels of land of the nature referred to in subsection (3) (a), giving particulars of each parcel, the means of access to them and the material services provided by the public body in respect of those parcels as at 31 March in the year in which the list is furnished.
(6)  If the council objects to the inclusion of any parcel in the list, it must serve notice of objection on the public body and on the Minister within 2 months after the list is furnished.
(7)  The Minister may allow or dismiss an objection, but, before determining an objection, the Minister must, if either the public body or the council so desires, afford them an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by a person appointed by the Minister for that purpose.
(8)  The decision of the Minister on an objection is final.
(9)  In this section:

access and means of access include lifts, stairways, escalators and passageways in or on a building, structure, work or excavation.

public body means the Waterways Authority, a Port Corporation within the meaning of the Ports Corporatisation and Waterways Management Act 1995, the State Rail Authority, Rail Infrastructure Corporation and the State Transit Authority.

services means cleaning, lighting, repairs and maintenance of any access and means of access.

601   Hardship resulting from certain valuation changes

(1)  A ratepayer who, as a consequence of the making and levying of a rate on a valuation having a later base date than any valuation previously used by a council for the making and levying of a rate, suffers substantial hardship, may apply to the council for relief under this section.
(2)  The council has a discretion to waive, reduce or defer the payment of the whole or any part of the increase in the amount of the rate payable by the ratepayer in such circumstances, for such period and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.
(3)  An applicant who is dissatisfied with a council’s decision under this section may request the council to review its decision and the council, at its discretion, may do so.
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