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Contents (1993 - 30)
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Local Government Act 1993 No 30
Current version for 25 June 2019 to date (accessed 20 October 2019 at 14:38)
Chapter 15 Part 1
Part 1 An overview of rates and charges
491   Some sources of a council’s income
A council may, in accordance with this Chapter, obtain income from:
•  rates
•  charges
•  fees
•  grants
•  borrowings
•  investments.
492   What are the types of rates?
The types of rates that can be made by a council are:
•  ordinary rates
•  special rates.
493   Categories of ordinary rates and categories of land
(1)  There are 4 categories of an ordinary rate and 4 categories of rateable land:
•  farmland
•  residential
•  mining
•  business.
(2)  These categories may, at a council’s discretion, be divided into sub-categories in accordance with section 529.
494   Ordinary rates must be made and levied annually
(1)  A council must make and levy an ordinary rate for each year on all rateable land in its area.
(2)  Each category or subcategory of ordinary rate is to apply only to land of the same category or subcategory.
495   Making and levying of special rates
(1)  A council may make a special rate for or towards meeting the cost of any works, services, facilities or activities provided or undertaken, or proposed to be provided or undertaken, by the council within the whole or any part of the council’s area, other than domestic waste management services.
(2)  The special rate is to be levied on such rateable land in the council’s area as, in the council’s opinion:
(a)  benefits or will benefit from the works, services, facilities or activities, or
(b)  contributes or will contribute to the need for the works, services, facilities or activities, or
(c)  has or will have access to the works, services, facilities or activities.
Note.
 Under section 495, a council could, for example make and levy:
•  different special rates for different kinds of works, services, facilities or activities
•  different special rates for the same kind of work, service, facility or activity in different parts of its area
•  different special rates for the same work in different parts of its area.
The amount of special rate will be determined according to the council’s assessment of the relationship between the cost or estimated cost of the work, service, facility or activity and the degree of benefit afforded to the ratepayer by providing or undertaking the work, service, facility or activity.
495A   Strata lots and company titles taken to be separate parcels of land for annual charges
For the purposes of making or levying an annual charge under section 496, 496A or 501:
(a)  each lot in a strata plan that is registered under the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015, and
(b)  each dwelling or portion of the kind referred to in section 547 (1),
is taken to be a separate parcel of rateable land.
496   Making and levying of annual charges for domestic waste management services
(1)  A council must make and levy an annual charge for the provision of domestic waste management services for each parcel of rateable land for which the service is available.
(2)  A council may make an annual charge for the provision of a domestic waste management service for a parcel of land that is exempt from rating if:
(a)  the service is available for that land, and
(b)  the owner of that land requests or agrees to the provision of the service to that land, and
(c)  the amount of the annual charge is limited to recovering the cost of providing the service to that land.
496A   Making and levying of annual charges for stormwater management services
(1)  A council may, in accordance with the regulations, make and levy an annual charge for the provision of stormwater management services for each parcel of rateable land for which the service is available.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not authorise or permit a council to make or levy an annual charge for the provision of stormwater management services for rateable land that is:
(a)  owned by the Crown, and
(b)  held under a lease for private purposes granted under the Housing Act 2001 or the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998.
Note.
 Section 555 (1) (a) provides that land owned by the Crown is not rateable land unless it is held under a lease for a private purpose.
496B   Making and levying of annual charges for coastal protection services
(1)  A council may, in accordance with this Act and the regulations, make and levy an annual charge for the provision by the council of coastal protection services for a parcel of rateable land that benefits from the services, being services that relate to coastal protection works constructed:
(a)  by or on behalf of the owner or occupier (or a previous owner or occupier) of the parcel of land, or
(b)  jointly by or on behalf of:
(i)  the owner or occupier (or a previous owner or occupier) of the parcel of land, and
(ii)  a public authority or a council.
(2)  An annual charge for the provision of coastal protection services must be calculated so as to not exceed the reasonable cost to the council of providing those services (including any legal, insurance, engineering, surveying, project management, financing and similar costs associated with providing those services).
Note.
 The coastal protection services for which an annual charge may be made and levied are services:
(a)  to maintain and repair coastal protection works, or
(b)  to manage the impacts of such works (such as changed or increased beach erosion elsewhere).
See the definition of coastal protection service in the Dictionary.
(3)  If a person is aggrieved by the amount of the annual charge, the person may appeal to the Land and Environment Court and that Court may determine the amount.
(4)  The fact that an appeal is pending does not in the meantime affect the levying of the annual charge to which the appeal relates and the charge may be recovered as if no appeal were pending.
(5)  If a person’s appeal is, in whole or in part, successful, the council must refund any amount paid in excess of a requirement for payment under this Act.
(6)  If the Land and Environment Court, in the course of determining an appeal under subsection (3), determines the reasonable cost to the council of providing coastal protection services in relation to particular coastal protection works, that determination is binding in relation to the calculation of the annual charge for all other parcels of land that benefit from those same services.
(7)  For the avoidance of doubt, a parcel of land benefits from the provision of coastal protection services even if:
(a)  the services relate to private coastal protection works (such as a seawall) wholly on the parcel or on a neighbouring parcel of private land, or
(b)  the services are carried out on land that is outside the council’s area.
(8)  Subsection (1) does not authorise or permit a council to make or levy an annual charge for the provision of coastal protection services for rateable land that is held under a lease for private purposes granted under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 or the Housing Act 2001.
(9)  The Minister administering the Coastal Management Act 2016 is to issue guidelines relating to the making and levying of charges under this section. A council is to have regard to any such guidelines when making and levying such charges.
497   What is the structure of a rate?
A rate, whether an ordinary rate or a special rate, may, at a council’s discretion, consist of:
(a)  an ad valorem amount (which may, in accordance with section 548, be subject to a minimum amount of the rate), or
(b)  a base amount to which an ad valorem amount is added.
498   The ad valorem amount
(1)  The ad valorem amount of a rate is an amount in the dollar determined for a specified year by the council and expressed to apply:
(a)  in the case of an ordinary rate—to the land value of all rateable land in the council’s area within the category or sub-category of the ordinary rate, or
(b)  in the case of a special rate—to the land value of all rateable land in the council’s area or such of that rateable land as is specified by the council in accordance with section 538.
(2)  The ad valorem amount of a rate is to be levied on the land value of rateable land, except as provided by this or any other Act.
(3)  An ad valorem amount specified for a parcel of land may not differ from an ad valorem amount specified for any other parcel of land within the same category or subcategory unless:
(a)  the land values of the parcels were last determined by reference to different base dates, and
(b)  the Minister approves the different ad valorem amounts.
Note.
 Land value is defined in the Dictionary for this Act. Generally, it is a value determined specially for rating purposes by the Valuer-General under the Valuation of Land Act 1916.
A value other than land value may be used, for example, under section 127 of the Heritage Act 1977.
499   The base amount
(1)  A council may, in a resolution making a rate, specify a base amount of the rate, or a base amount for a category or sub-category of an ordinary rate.
(2)  The base amounts so specified may be the same or different amounts.
(3)  The appropriate base amount so specified is to form part of the rate levied on each separate parcel of rateable land subject to the rate.
(4)  A base amount specified for a parcel of land may not differ from a base amount specified for any other parcel of land within the same category or subcategory unless:
(a)  the land values of the parcels were last determined by reference to different base dates, and
(b)  the Minister approves the different base amounts.
500   Limit on revenue that can be raised from base amount
The amount specified as the base amount of a rate (or the base amount of the rate for a category or sub-category of an ordinary rate) must not be such as to produce more than 50 per cent of the total amount payable by the levying of the rate (or of the rate for the category or sub-category concerned) on all rateable land subject to the rate (or the rate for the category or sub-category concerned).
501   For what services can a council impose an annual charge?
(1)  A council may make an annual charge for any of the following services provided, or proposed to be provided, on an annual basis by the council:
•  water supply services
•  sewerage services
•  drainage services
•  waste management services (other than domestic waste management services)
•  any services prescribed by the regulations.
(2)  A council may make a single charge for two or more such services.
(3)  An annual charge may be levied on each parcel of rateable land for which the service is provided or proposed to be provided.
502   Charges for actual use
A council may make a charge for a service referred to in section 496 or 501 according to the actual use of the service.
503   What is the relationship between rates and charges?
(1)  A charge may be made:
(a)  in addition to an ordinary rate, and
(b)  in addition to or instead of a special rate.
(2)  If land is not rateable to a special rate for a particular service, a council may not levy a charge in respect of that land relating to the same service, unless the charge is limited to recovering the cost of providing the service to that land.
504   Domestic waste management services
(1)  A council must not apply income from an ordinary rate towards the cost of providing domestic waste management services.
(1A)  Subsection (1) does not prevent income from an ordinary rate from being lent (by way of internal loan) for use by the council in meeting the cost of providing domestic waste management services.
(2)  Income to be applied by a council towards the cost of providing domestic waste management services must be obtained from the making and levying of annual charges or the imposition of charges for the actual use of the service, or both.
(3)  Income obtained from charges for domestic waste management must be calculated so as to not exceed the reasonable cost to the council of providing those services.