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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 21 October 2019 at 13:18)
Chapter 15 Part 5
Part 5 Levying of rates and charges
Division 1 General
546   How is a rate or charge levied?
(1)  A rate or charge is levied on the land specified in a rates and charges notice by the service of the notice.
(2)  The notice may be served at any time after 1 July in the year for which the rate or charge is made or in a subsequent year.
(3)  A notice that is required to effect an adjustment of rates or charges may be served in the year for which the rate or charge is made or a subsequent year.
(4)  The notice may include more than one rate, more than one charge and more than one parcel of land.
(5)  It is not necessary to specify the name of the rateable person or the person liable to pay the charge in the notice if the council does not know the person’s name.
547   Method of rating dwellings under company title
(1)  For the purposes of this Act:
(a)  a person who, because of the ownership of shares in a company, is entitled to occupy a dwelling in, or a portion of, a building containing two or more such dwellings or portions is taken to be the owner of land (or two or more persons who, because of the ownership of the shares in a company, are entitled to occupy the same dwelling in or portion of, such a building are taken together to be the owners of land), and
(b)  the land value of the land of which the person is (or the persons are) taken to be the owner (or owners) is that proportion of the land value of the land on which the building is erected as the number of shares in the company owned by the person (or persons) bears to the total number of shares issued by the company.
(2)  The secretary of such a company must notify the council of:
(a)  the names and addresses of owners of shares in the company and of the number of shares issued to each owner, and
(b)  changes in ownership of any shares in the company.
(3)  A rate or charge, to the extent to which it is payable by the owners of shares in accordance with this section, is not also payable by the company in which those shares are held.
Note.
 The rating of land under strata title is provided for under the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015.
548   Minimum amounts
(1)  A council, in a resolution making a rate consisting of an ad valorem amount:
(a)  may specify a minimum amount of the rate which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel, or
(b)  may specify:
(i)  a minimum amount of the rate which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel, other than a separate parcel consisting of vacant land, and
(ii)  a minimum amount of the rate, being less than the minimum amount of rate specified under subparagraph (i), which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel consisting of vacant land, or
(c)  may specify:
(i)  a minimum amount of the rate which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel, other than a separate parcel consisting of vacant land, and
(ii)  a minimum amount of the rate, being less than the minimum amount of the rate specified under subparagraph (i), which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel consisting of vacant land, other than a separate parcel consisting of vacant flood liable land or vacant coastal hazard liable land, and
(iii)  a minimum amount of the rate, being less than the minimum amount of the rate specified under subparagraph (ii), which must be levied in respect of each separate parcel of vacant flood liable land or vacant coastal hazard liable land.
(2)  If a council makes an ordinary rate for different categories or sub-categories of land, it may specify a different minimum amount for each category or sub-category of land.
(3)  Except as provided by subsection (4), the minimum amount of a rate is to be:
(a)  in respect of an ordinary rate, such amount as is determined by the council, not exceeding $259 or such greater amount as may be prescribed by the regulations or, in the case of a rate for which a particular council may, under subsection (1) or (2), specify a minimum amount, such greater amount as the Minister may determine by instrument in writing, or
(b)  in respect of any other rate (not being a water supply special rate or a sewerage special rate), such amount as is determined by the council, not exceeding $2 or such greater amount as the Minister may determine by instrument in writing given to the council.
(4)  If the minimum amount of an ordinary rate for the previous year exceeded the amount prescribed or determined in respect of such a rate under subsection (3) (a), the council may determine the minimum amount of the ordinary rate in accordance with subsection (5).
(5)  The minimum amount of the ordinary rate must be of such amount as is determined by the council, not exceeding the amount of the minimum ordinary rate for the previous year increased by the percentage (if any) specified in respect of the council under this Act.
(6)  A minimum amount of a rate is not invalid because:
(a)  the minimum amount is levied on the whole or any part of the land subject to the rate, or
(b)  of the size of the minimum amount.
(7)  A council may not specify a minimum amount of a rate consisting of a base amount to which an ad valorem amount is added.
(8)  A minimum amount of a rate specified for a parcel of land may not differ from a minimum amount specified for any other parcel of land within the same category or sub-category unless:
(a)  the land values of the parcels were last determined by reference to different base dates, and
(b)  the Minister approves the different minimum amounts.
548A   Aggregation of values of certain parcels subject to rates containing base amounts
(1)  If the council is of the opinion that the levying of a minimum rate or of a rate containing a base amount:
(a)  would apply unfairly, and
(b)  could cause hardship to a rateable person who is rateable in respect of two or more separate parcels of land subject to the rate,
it may aggregate the land values of such of the parcels as it determines and levy the rate on the aggregated land values.
(2)  Land values may be aggregated under this section for separate parcels of land only if each separate parcel is subject to:
(a)  the same category or subcategory of the same ordinary rate, or
(b)  the same special rate.
(3)  A council must not aggregate the land values of two or more separate parcels of land:
(a)  if each parcel is a parcel on which a dwelling is erected or a parcel that comprises (or substantially comprises) a dwelling in a residential flat building, or
(b)  if the parcels are a combination of parcels referred to in paragraph (a).
549   Reduction of rates containing base amounts if levied on vacant land
(1)  A council may determine that a rate (whether an ordinary rate or a special rate) consisting of a base amount to which an ad valorem amount is added is to be levied on:
(a)  vacant land, or
(b)  vacant land that has suffered physical damage (such as flood liable or coastal hazard affected land), or
(c)  land prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section,
in accordance with this section.
(2)  If:
(a)  the rate were to be levied on land on the basis that the rate consisted of only the ad valorem amount, and
(b)  the amount payable as a consequence of levying the ad valorem amount on the land would be less than $250 (or such other amount as may be prescribed by the regulations),
the rate payable in respect of the land is $250 (or such other amount as may be prescribed by the regulations) or the base amount of the rate, whichever is the lesser.
550   Charge of rates and charges on land
(1)  A rate or charge levied under this Act on land (including any interest accrued on the rate or charge as referred to in section 566) and any costs awarded to the council by a court in proceedings to recover the rate or charge are a charge on the land.
(2)  The charge ranks on an equal footing with a charge on the land under any other Act but takes priority over any other charge or encumbrance.
(3)  The charge does not affect:
(a)  the estate of the Crown in land owned by the Crown, or
(b)  the estate of a Crown lessee if the lease is granted after the rate or charge was levied (whether or not the land was previously held under a lease from the Crown).
(4)  The charge does not affect a bona fide purchaser for value who made due inquiry at the time of purchase but had no notice of the liability. A purchaser who has obtained a certificate under section 603 is taken to have made due inquiry.
(5)  The provisions of this section have effect despite anything contained in section 42 of the Real Property Act 1900.
Division 2 Special rates and charges relating to water supply, sewerage and drainage
551   Application of Division 2
This Division applies to a special rate or charge that is made in connection with water supply, sewerage or drainage services that are actually being provided by the council.
552   What land may be subject to a water supply special rate or charge?
(1)  A special rate or charge relating to water supply may be levied on:
(a)  land that is supplied with water from a water pipe of the council, and
(b)  land that is situated within 225 metres of a water pipe of the council whether the land has a frontage or not to the public road (if any) in which the water pipe is laid, and although the land is not actually supplied with water from any water pipe of the council.
(2)  A special rate or charge relating to water supply may not be levied on land unless water could be supplied to some part of the land from a standpipe at least 1 metre in height from the ground level, if such a pipe were laid and connected to the council’s mains.
(3)  A special rate or charge relating to sewerage may be levied on all land except:
(a)  land which is more than 75 metres from a sewer of the council and is not connected to the sewer, and
(b)  land from which sewage could not be discharged into any sewer of the council.
(4)  A special rate or charge relating to drainage may be levied on rateable land that is within the basin served by the drainage works.
553   Time at which land becomes subject to special rate or charge
Land does not become subject to a special rate or charge to which this Division applies by virtue of the extension by a council of a water pipe, sewer or drain:
(a)  in the case of a special rate or charge relating to water supply—until 21 days after notice is given by the council in the Gazette of the extension of the water pipe or until the date on which the land is connected to the council’s mains, whichever is the earlier, or
(b)  in the case of a special rate or charge relating to sewerage—until 60 days after notice is given by the council in the Gazette of the extension of the sewer or until the date on which the land is connected to the sewer, whichever is the earlier, or
(c)  in the case of a special rate or charge relating to drainage—until notice is given by the council in the Gazette of the extension of the drain.
553A   Special rates and charges not payable in relation to land provided with private water supply or sewerage
(1)  A special rate or charge is not payable in relation to any land in respect of the supply of water, or the provision of a sewerage service, during the term of any contract in that regard entered into between the owner of the land and a licensed retail supplier within the meaning of the Water Industry Competition Act 2006.
(2)  If:
(a)  the council is a retailer of last resort within the meaning of the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 in relation to any water supply or sewerage service, and
(b)  a direction in relation to that service is given to the council under section 56 of that Act,
the council and the owner are taken to have entered into a special circumstances contract in such terms as are prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.
Division 3 Coastal protection service charges
553B   Restriction on levying coastal protection service charges
(1)  An annual charge for coastal protection services may not be levied on a parcel of rateable land in relation to existing coastal protection works unless the owner (or any previous owner) of that land has consented in writing to the land being subject to such charges.
(2)  Despite subsection (1), the council may make and levy an annual charge on a parcel of rateable land for coastal protection services that relate to existing coastal protection works if the owner or occupier (or any previous owner or occupier) of the parcel of rateable land contributed, after the commencement of this section, to the upgrade or expansion of the existing coastal protection works. However, any such annual charge must be calculated so as to enable the council only to recover that portion of the reasonable cost to the council of providing those services that exceeds the reasonable cost to the council of providing such services had the existing coastal protection works not been upgraded or expanded.
(3)  An annual charge for coastal protection services may not be levied on a parcel of rateable land in relation to any coastal protection works if:
(a)  the maintenance of the works or the management of the impacts of the works (as appropriate) is a condition of an approval or consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 relating to the works, and
(b)  that maintenance or management work is not being carried out by or on behalf of the council.
(4)  In this section, existing coastal protection works means coastal protection works that existed before the commencement of this section.