Rates FAQs

Concessions and discounts

  • How much is the discount and how long do I have to pay?

    In accordance with section 130 of the Local Government Regulations 2012, a discount of 10% will be allowed to any ratepayers that pays all rates and charges in full, including arrears, within thirty days after the issue of the notice.  

    Discount applies to all rates and charges except for State Fire Levies, Special Rates and Charges and Water Consumption Charges.

  • Does council offer a pensioner concession?

    Pensioner discounts apply to all residential type general rates and charges, except for water consumption and the state emergency and fire levy charge. The Queensland Government subsidies 20% (or a maximum of $200 per annum) and Council also offers a 50% subsidy by way of a rebate to approved pensioners.

    Am I eligible for the Pensioner Subsidy?  

    To be eligible for a pensioner concession the following criteria applies: 

    • The property must be the ratepayer’s principle place of residence. 
    • The property must be registered in the ratepayer’s name. 
    • The concession can only be claimed on one property within Queensland. 
    • The ratepayer must hold a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, or a Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card – All Conditions. 

    How do I apply for the pensioner subsidy?  

    pensioner application form must be completed and submitted to council with a copy of your Concession Card.  

    As part of the application process and to confirm that the pension card entitlement is current, council will ask the ratepayer to agree to a Centrelink search. This search is conducted annually by council and produces a report with details that can be matched to council’s rating system. The report only contains information relevant to rating and no personal information is accessed. 

    What if I do not consent to Council verifying my details with Centrelink?  

    If the ratepayer indicates on their initial application form that they do not agree to the Centrelink search, council will require the ratepayer to provide proof from Centrelink every six months that their pension card entitlement is current. 

    Do I need to re-apply every year?  

    Once a ratepayer has applied there is no need to reapply for a period of 5 years.  The ratepayer will need to reapply if they have purchased or moved to another property in the council region – applications are property specific and pension details are not able to be transferred from one property to another. A ratepayer may also need to reapply of there have been changes in their pension entitlement.

  • Does council offer a mining claim concession?

    This concession is 100% of the rates payable on the mining claims and applies to ratepayers that pay rates on residential land which is also subject to a mining claim.   

    Am I eligible for a mining claim concession?

    • The mining claim and the residential land are held in the same ownership  
    • Eighty percent (80%) or more of the area of the mining claim overlaps the residential Land.  
    • The rates owing on both the mining claim and residential land have been paid in full.  

    How do I apply for the concession? 

    You will need to complete the mining claims overlapping of residential tenure form. 

    Do I need to re-apply each rates period? 

    Ratepayers will need to reapply after each levy or once per annum if they meet all the conditions.   

    Waste management concession for multiple mining claims 

    This concession is 100% of the waste management charges payable on all mining claims over and above the charges payable one mining claims and 100% of the charges levied on Permits to Occupy which are attached to a mining claim.  This concession applies to ratepayers who hold multiple mining claims in the same ownership or contiguous claims are held in the same family unit.   

    How do I apply for this concession? 

    You will need to complete the waste management concession on mining claims form 

    Do I need to re-apply each rates period? 

    Ratepayers will need to reapply after each levy or once per annum if they meet all the conditions.

  • Does council offer a not-for-profit or sporting club concession?

    Not-for-profit organisations may be entitled to a 100% rebate on general rates.  

    How to apply

    The Not for Profit/Sporting Concession Form needs to be completed and submitted with supporting documentation such as:  

    • Audited Financial Annual Statements (no older than 24 Months) 
    • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Does council offer a concession for dedicated fire services?

    Where a commercial property has more than 2 water connections with one being for dedicated fire service a concession of a reduction in the dedicated fire service to a 20mm connection.  

    How do I apply?

    You will need to complete the Dedicated Fire Service Concession form and submit to council with supporting documentation which may include, but not limited to “As construction hydraulic plans” 

     

  • Can I get a concession for an undetected water leak?

    If you have an undetected water leak that would have contributed to higher than usual water consumption a concession may be available.  

    How do I Apply?  

    You will need to complete the undetected water leak application form and provide supporting documentation.

Payments and arrangements

  • How can I pay my rates?
  • Can I prepay or direct debit my rates?

    Rates can be prepaid using any of the payment methods listed above.

    If you wish to set up a direct debit arrangement through council, you are required to complete separate direct debit instructions for both general rates and for water.

    Direct debits set up through council are processed at the following times: 

    • Weekly on a Friday 
    • Fortnightly on a Thursday 
    • Monthly on the last business day of the month 
    • Due date where full payment is taken on the due date of each notice 
    • Alternatively, you can also set up regular payments through your own internet banking.  

    Please note: A direct debit is a method of payment and does not constitute a payment arrangement with Council.  

  • Can I enter a payment arrangement?

    Council allows ratepayers to set up a formal payment arrangement where the outstanding balance must be paid off over a 6 to 12 month period, depending on the amount outstanding. Adhering to a formal arrangement prevents recovery action being taken by council to collect the outstanding amount. Interest will not be charged on your outstanding balance while adhering to a formal payment arrangement. If you default on your arrangement, interest will be charged at 11% per annum, compounded daily. 

    It is important to always remember that where you are in a payment arrangement for the payment of outstanding rates and water charges and a new levy is issued during the repayment period, you will need to adjust the arrangements to ensure the repayment amount covers the amount of the new levies. 

    An application to pay rates by instalment form will need to be completed and returned to council.

  • What if I cannot afford the amount required under a formal arrangement?

    It is recommended that you commence paying whatever amount you are able to afford as it is important that you are showing a commitment to reducing the outstanding balance of your account.

    Although you will still be required to complete a formal application to pay rates by instalment form, council will grant a period of up to three months where interest will not be charged, and recovery action will not be taken, if you make regular repayments during this period.

    At the conclusion of the three month period it is expected that you will either enter into a formal arrangement at the required repayment amount or pay the outstanding balance in full.

    If neither of these options are achievable it is very important that you speak call us as soon as possible on 1300 242 686 to discuss your options.

  • How do I suspend a payment or cancel my direct debit arrangement?

    All requests to amend, suspend or cancel your direct debit must be in writing to council. Please allow 5 business days for processing. 

  • I have a credit on my account, what can I do?

    Council can either refund this money by cheque or EFT.  If you wish to have it by EFT you will need to complete a Creditor Authorisation form.  

    Alternatively, we can transfer the credit from one rate assessment to another, or to your water account.  You will need to complete an Application to transfer credit from rates account form and submit to council.

Principal and non-principal place of residence

  • What constitutes a principal place of residence?

    Principal place of residence means a place where a person usually or habitually lives and, particularly a place where a person usually eats and sleeps in the ordinary course of their life and subject to the following:

    • at least one person who owns the dwelling or lot predominately lives in the property of which no part is offered for rent; 
    • at least one person who is a life tenant of the dwelling or lot predominately lives in the property of which no part is offered for rent; 

    Principal place of residence does not include:

    • dwelling or lot that is owned by an entity other than a natural person (e.g. company or incorporated association); or 
    • dwelling or lot owned by a person as a trustee of a trust; or 
    • dwelling or lot that is vacant, whether permanently or temporarily (for more than 120 days in the financial year). 
  • How is this determined?

    For determining whether a place of residence is a person’s principal place of residence we may consider: 

    • the length of time the person has occupied the residence; 
    • the place of residence of the person’s family; 
    • whether the person has moved his or her personal belongings into the residence; 
    • the person’s address on the electoral roll; 
    • whether services such as telephone, electricity and gas are connected to the residence in the person’s name; 
    • any other relevant matter. 

    For clarity, a person can only have one principal place of residence at any given time.  Place of residence means a place where a where a person usually or habitually lives and, particularly, a place where a person usually eats and sleeps in the ordinary course of their life. 

  • Do I need to apply for a principal place of residence?

    Yes. You will need to complete an owner occupier form and provide supporting documentation to be entitled to the principal place of residence categorisation.

  • Do I need to tell council that a property is no longer my principal place of residence?

    Yes, you should contact council if they are relocating and the property is no longer going to be their principal place of residence. 

    If no advice is received from the customer, the principal place of residence this is generally amended when the postal address is updated. 

  • How do I update my address or details?

    Changing your postal address

    The preferred method for requesting a change of address is in writing to council or completing a change of address form, however for individuals this may also be done over the phone.

    If the change of address is a result of a separation, council recommends that both parties confirm their postal addresses and a request be put in writing for a copy of the rate notice to be issued to both parties.

    Companies must provide a written request from a director of the company on company letterhead.

    Changing your name on rates and water notices

    This cannot be done through council. You will need to contact Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and lodge the necessary forms and payment. They will then pass this information on to us and we will update accordingly.

    Removing a partner from the rates notices

    Council does not have the authority to do this, you will need to complete transfer documents and lodge them with the Titles Office and pay the appropriate fees.

    We can send multiple copies of notices to individual parties, however, if rates are not paid, reminder letters and all other correspondence is issued only to the primary contact on the rate account (the first name listed on the account).

    Please note: Even if  separated, if both parties are listed on the notice then both are equally liable for the payment of rates and charges.

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