Frequently Asked Questions - Rates
Answers to frequently asked questions about rates and property.
Rates funds are used to maintain, improve and provide services and facilities for the ratepayers, residents and visitors to the local area.
Each year, Council places on public exhibition a Draft Management Plan. This Plan discloses the Council's intended activities for the next three years and its Revenue policy for the next financial year. The Revenue policy will disclose details of all rates and charges proposed for the coming financial year. Council's Draft Management Plan will be on public exhibition during May & June each year.
Any member of the public may review and make comment on the provisions of the these policies.
Rate pegging is the percentage limit by which each Council may increase the total income it will receive from rates. The rate pegging percentage is set each year by the Minister for Local Government. The Minister may also specify the amount by which Councils may vary domestic waste management charges each year.
It is Important to Note: Where the rate-pegging limit set by the Minister in any given year is eg 3.6%, this means that Council may only receive 3.6% more total income from rates than it received from the previous year. It does not mean that the rates levied on every individual property will increase by 3.6%
There are two main types of rates levied by Council; they are Ordinary Rates and Special Rates. The current year's Rate Levies are available online and shown on the annual rate notice.
Are levied to recover Council's basic recurring administrative and operational expenses such as materials, labour and overheads related to the on-going provision of services and maintenance of assets.
Before levying ordinary rates against a property, Section 514 of the Local Government Act, 1993 requires Council to categorise each parcel of rateable land to be within one of the following allowable categories: Farmland, Residential, Mining or Business. The property's category is based on the primary use of the property.
To be eligible for Farmland rating the property must be used for substantial and significant commercial primary production. Should you wish to alter the rating category of your property telephone Council's Rates section to obtain an application form and further information.
Are charged for services provided by Council for special purposes such as water supply, sewerage, drainage, sporting facilities and major public infrastructure works.
Gosford City Council currently levies special rates to fund the upgrade of community facilities in the following areas:
- Avoca Beach
- East Gosford
- Umina & Woy Woy Township
- Gosford CBD
- Terrigal Tourism/Business
There are also special rates to raise funds under the following levies:
- Coastal Open Space
- Regional Library
- Sporting facilities
- Water Safety
Ordinary rates and special rates are assessed on land values using an ad valorem (with a minimum rate criteria).
The land value is determined by the Valuer General and all enquiries should be directed to their office.
View the Department of Lands web site - Land Valuations in NSW to find out all you need to know about the valuation of land by the Valuer General in NSW.
Every property is issued a rate notice for each financial year by late July each year. You can either elect to pay the full year's rates by the last working day in August or by quarterly instalments due by the last working day in August, November, February and May each year.
Although there is no discount for payment of rates in full by August, you will be entered into a draw to win great prizes.
If you elect to make quarterly instalments, notices will be sent to you prior to the due date.
Yes - you can receive notices online. The online notice service is simply an alternative delivery method for rates and water notices, it is not a service for up to date balances or payment details. Once registered, you will no longer receive notices through Australia Post, you will receive an email about one month prior to the due date with your notices attached in Adobe PDF format.
To register for this service, visit the electronic notice information page. Once registered you can print received notices for your records and or pay at any Post Office. Please note these printed notices cannot be used for payment at the Commonwealth Bank. You may however, pay by credit card at Council's electronic payment service website.
Several payment options are available to each ratepayer using your credit or debit accounts, cash or cheques.
Council receipts are issued for payments made in person at all Council offices. By using Council's website you may print out a receipt online. All other options do not produce a Council receipt and your bank statement will reflect receipt of your payment at Council.
Section 575 of the Local Government Act, 1993 allows pensioner concession cardholders to claim rebates on their general, domestic waste, water, sewerage and drainage rates. The rebates allowable under this section of the act are set out in the table below.
|Type of Rate||Percentage Rebate||Maximum Rebate|
|Combined General/Domestic Waste||50%||$250.00|
|Water Supply Service||50%||$87.50|
|Stormwater Drainage Charge||50%||50%|
Additional Concession Eligibility Requirements
- You must own the dwelling for which a concession is sought and it must be occupied as your sole or principal place of residence.
- You will be required to produce your pensioner concession card as proof of entitlement prior to gaining a pension rebate.
- Persons who become eligible pensioners or cease to be eligible pensioners during the year will be granted a concession proportionate to the number of full quarters in which they were eligible.
- Where an eligible pensioner shares ownership with a non-eligible occupier, the amount of concession will also be determined on the proportionate equity in the property.
How Do I receive my rebate?
Take your pension concession card in person to one of our four(4) offices at Erina, Kincumber, Woy Woy or Gosford. You will be assisted in the completion of the application form and your rates adjusted.
Section 566 of the Local Government Act provides for the imposition of interest charges on overdue rates and charges. Interest is calculated on a daily basis and is only charged against the amount overdue. The current interest rate set by Gosford City Council on overdue rates is 9% per annum.
Council's Rates section should be contacted immediately to discuss a payment arrangement.
Ratepayers are encouraged to use any of their payment options to make frequent payments. Most ratepayers will find this plan easier on the budget.
A direct debt form may be download from the website (Rates & Finance) or obtained from any Council office.
The water and sewerage services charges form part of the annual rates and charges levied from 1 July each year. However Council officers will read your water meter twice per year and issue an account for the water consumed over the 6 monthly period.
Charges for sewerage are also applicable for properties rated in the Business category.
Council's water billing information section provides more information on Water Billing.
When your property is sold, your solicitor or conveyancer will lodge a notice of sale with the Department of Lands or if applicable, your mortgagee. Upon registration, the Department will notify Council of the change of ownership. Until this notice is received Council can not change the ownership of your property.
If you are not selling but moving out of your property, you are required to lodge a change of address in writing, using mail, email or facsimile. Notices may be sent to the registered owner(s), managing agent or a person appointed by the owner(s).
As there can be delays experienced with the registration of your title with the Department of Lands, Council is unable to issue notices to you.
Therefore, it is important for you to contact Council after settlement to obtain rating information.