Rates are essential income to keep the district running - they help meet the cost of all the services and facilities provided by the District Council. The Capital Value of every rateable property is assessed every three years by Council's Valuers (currently Landmass) – this provides an up-to-date rating value that determines the level of General Rates you will pay. Targeted rates (such as water, refuse, and wastewater) are added if you receive these services to your property.
Rates are billed in four instalments during the rating year (which begins on 1 July and ends on 30 June). You will receive the invoice for each rates instalment early in the month that the instalment is due.
To avoid penalties, you must pay each instalment in full by the due date (or the next business day if the due date falls on a weekend or public holiday):
- 25 August (first instalment)
- 25 November (second instalment)
- 25 February (third instalment)
- 25 May (fourth instalment).
Penalties and Penalty Waivers
Any instalment that is unpaid by the due date will incur a 10% penalty. If you've incurred a penalty, but meet any of the following conditions, you can apply for a penalty waiver:
- Council has not issued a rates assessment and/or invoice as required under the LGRA; or
- It can be substantiated that a ratepayer has been disadvantaged in the delivery of a rates assessment and/or invoice. Substantiation shall consist of some form of tangible evidence such as undelivered mail being returned to Council; or
- the ratepayer pays the rates through electronic banking and makes an error in the transaction, or
- The ratepayer:
- provides a written explanation why payment could not be made by the due date; and
- the explanation is considered reasonable; and
- the ratepayer has not received a rates remission within the last three years; and
- the ratepayer has not incurred more than three penalties within the last three years, and
- there are no overdue rates outstanding (excluding the penalty remission application)
- A formalised and approved rate payment arrangement has been complied with. Only those penalty charges incurred since commencement of the arrangement will be considered for remission, or
- Where those who wish to pay their rates for the year in full within one month from the date the first instalment penalty charge notice was issued.
If you sell your house you need to make an arrangement for your rates with your solicitor