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Rates Information

The council must charge rates to raise revenue so it can provide services and infrastructure to its communities.

Each year, as part of the budget process, we decide the rates and charges for the financial year.

New look rates notices – August 2018

When you receive your rates notice it will look different because the general rates are now separated from the charge for your water.

You will now receive four notices each year as per the below schedule:

Notice type

Charge period Issued in

Rates and Charges #1

January – June

August

Rates and Charges #2

July – December

February

Water Charges #1

December – May

October

Water Charges #2 June to November

April

All notices will still have the 30-day payment term with a 10% discount applicable, if paid by the due date of the notice.

The change to our rates and water billing requires people that currently have a direct debit arrangement to set up a second direct debit arrangement for water charges only.

Anyone with a credit balance on their account has the option to transfer some or all their credit to their water account.

Please note that there will now be different biller codes for rates and water notices.

The current rates BPAY and POSTPAY reference numbers may also have changed, so please ensure you have the correct payment details, recorded with your financial institution.

 

  • Is there still a discount period?

    Yes, ratepayers can receive a 10% discount if payment is received within 30 days. In order to take advantage of the discount, the full amount, including any rate arrears and interest, must be paid on or before the due date. Electronic payments processed by your financial institution or bill payment service after the nominated payment cut-off time on the due date will not be eligible to receive the discount.

    Please be aware discount only applies to council rates. It does not apply to state fire levies, water usage, rural fire levies, environmental levies and interest charges. Residents with rates in arrears are ineligible for a discount until payment is up to date. In addition, outstanding rates attract an interest charge of 11% p.a., compounded daily.

  • Do pensioner discounts apply?

    Yes, the Queensland Government subsidises 20% (Maximum $200 pa) of the rates for approved pensioners by way of a rebate. Council also offers a subsidy of 50% for approved pensioners. Application forms for the rebate must be lodged at a council office. These forms are available from council’s offices or online.

    To be eligible for a pensioner concession on your rates you must meet the following criteria:

    • It has to be your principle place of residence;
    • You cannot be claiming the concession on any other properties in Queensland ;
    • You must hold a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, or a Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card – All Conditions; and
    • The property must be registered in your name.
    • You will need to complete a pensioner application form.

    What if I do not agree to Council checking my records with Centrelink?

    If you do not select the “I agree” option on the Pensioner application than you will be required to re-apply every 6 months for the pensioner subsidy and you will need to provide proof from Centrelink that your Pension Concession card entitlement is still current.

    Please note: that when Council does this search with Centrelink we do not see any personal information. We get a report with yes and no answers confirming if your details match what we put in the search, the type of pension, and if your pension concession card entitlement is still current.

    My Application for Pensioner Concession Card was rejected or removed from my account?

    It can be rejected for 2 reasons:

    1. Your property address does not match the address listed with Centrelink as your Principal Place of Residence; or
    2. Your Pensioner Concession Card Entitlements have come back as not current .

    You will need to discuss both these issues with Centrelink and get them rectified before re-applying for the pensioner subsidy.

    If you are trying to claim a pensioner subsidy on a property, your card should reflect your principal place of residence. If it does not, then you will need to get your Centrelink card updated.

  • How do I read my rates notice?

    For a simple breakdown of your rates notice and what it all means, download the fact sheet here.

  • Can supplementary notices be issued?

    Supplementary Notices may be issued at various times during the year to some ratepayers to account for changes to their services or unimproved valuations (for example, sewerage pedestal rates after building a new house on vacant land; commencing a garbage service, etc).

    Supplementary notice charges also attract a 10% discount, as long as all rates and charges are paid by the due date.

  • How do land valuations affect rates?

    Land valuations are carried out periodically by the Queensland Government. Visit their website to find out more.

    Council rates are not directly linked to the valuation of your land. This simplified infographic may help you understand how rates are calculated and the way the land valuations are used in the formula.

Direct debits and payment arrangements

  • Can I pre-pay my rates?

    Absolutely.  A customer can pre-pay their rates if they wish using any of the payment methods available on the back of the rates notice.  If they want to pre-pay rates using the direct debit method than they will need to complete a direct debit application.  Otherwise there is no application required to pre-pay rates.

  • How do I set up a Direct Debit?

    You have two options.

    1. If you want to set the direct debit up through council you will need to complete a direct debit application form.
    2. The second option is that you can set up a direct debit through your bank or through your internet banking.

    Direct debits are processed as follows:

    • Weekly – Every Friday
    • Fortnightly – Every Thursday
    • Monthly – On the last business day of every month.
    • Due date – Full payment will be taken on the due date of the notice.

    You must ensure there are sufficient funds in your account on the nominated day.

    If you would like your payment to come out on a specific date you will need to set it up through your own internet banking.

  • How do I cancel or suspend my Direct Debit?
    • If you want to stop it permanently you will need to submit a request to council in writing.
    • If you just want to stop one payment i.e. money is tight this week, you will need to submit a request in writing to council. You must give at least 5 days’ notice to stop any payments.
  • I can’t afford my rates all at once, can I pay them off?

    Absolutely.  Council does offer a payment arrangement that allows 6 – 12 months to pay off the outstanding amount depending on the balance owing.  Entering into a formal arrangement will stop further recovery action.  Ratepayers wanting to take advantage of this facility will need to complete an Application to Pay by Instalments form.  If they wish to pay the arrangement via direct debit they will also need to complete a Direct Debit Application.

  • I can’t afford the amount required under the arrangement application what can I do? and, will I still be under an arrangement?

    Council recommends you start or continue to pay what you can afford, and still complete an Application to Pay by Instalments form to vary the original arrangement.  Council will allow the lesser payment for up to three months to allow you time to revisit your finances or seek financial assistance.  If at the end of the three months your situation has not improved you will need to write to council and include as much information as you can regarding your current situation. This may be referred to the CEO for further consideration.

  • Do I have to enter an arrangement to pay off my outstanding rates?

    No it is not compulsory to enter an arrangement with council to pay off the outstanding rates and charges, however if you don’t you may still be subject to further recovery action which may incur additional interest and/or legal fees.

  • I thought I was in a current arrangement?

    If you entered an arrangement after the current rates were issued, then yes you are in a current arrangement.

    If you entered an arrangement prior to the current rates being issued than the arrangement is still current, however, only for the balance outstanding as at the time you entered the arrangement.  You will need to review your arrangement and adjust accordingly whenever a new levy is issued to ensure the full balance is covered under an arrangement.

    If you were in an arrangement and you have missed payments without notifying council, it is likely that your arrangement was cancelled and interest has been incurred.  It is really important to contact council to make alternate arrangements if you cannot meet your commitment.

  • Do I still get charged interest under a payment arrangement?

    Interest will not be charged while you stick to the deferred payment arrangement. However, if you default on the agreed payment plan, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance.

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