How We Calculate Your Rates

Rates are a primary source of income for council. The Ordinary Rate payable on a property is determined by the category of the land, the valuation of the land and the Base Rate and Ad Valorem rate adopted by council. A brief outline is provided below, but for further detail please refer to the Statement of Revenue Policy in our current Operational Plan. You may also find our 'How to read your rate notice' guide(PDF, 955KB) helpful in understanding the various line items that are shown on your rate notice.

Categorisation of land

Your property is categorised for a rating purpose according to its primary use. Those categories are:

  • Residential
  • Business
  • Farmland
  • Mining

We may also create sub-categories to improve the equity of the rates structure. The category/sub category for your property is identified on your annual Rates and Charges Notice.

If you think the category applied to your property is incorrect, you can request a review of your category by completing and submitting the Change in Category of Land for Rating Purposes form, found under "Rates and other payments" in our forms library.

Land Valuation

The NSW Valuer General’s Office determines land values at least every three years, but a change in the value of your land does not automatically mean a change in the amount of rates you are charged.

  • Land valuations do not affect the value of “total rates” a council can collect
  • This “total rates” amount is regulated by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and is capped year-on-year – the current cap set by IPART for the MidCoast local government area is the 5% approved special rate variation.
  • While land valuations may change, we can still only collect a total amount of rates that is 5% greater than last year.

Land valuations can play a role in how the “total rates” amount is distributed among property-owners.

  • Individual property rates may change based on the degree of change in land value compared to the average movement in valuations.
  • Properties that have increased in value higher than the average will see a rate increase of more than 5%.
  • Properties that have increased in value below the average will see a rates increase of less than 5%.

You can find more information about land valuation in the Valuer Generals 2020 Newsletter(PDF, 72KB) or by visiting their website:

Any enquiries or objections about land valuations should be directed to the Valuer General's office.

Base and Ad Valorem rates

We currently apply a two part rating structure. The base amount is a fixed amount and is the same for every property within the same rating category/sub-category. The ad valorem amount is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of a property by a rate set in the dollar by Council.  This rate is shown on your Annual Rates notice (view our 'How to read your rate notice' guide(PDF, 955KB) for where to find it on your notice).

Detailed tables are provided in the Statement of Revenue Policy in our current Operational Plan that show base amounts and ad valorem rates for properties across our region. These are broken down by location, category and sub-category.

Late payments and interest charges

Interest is charged on overdue rates on a daily basis. For 2020/21, interest will be charged at:

  • 0% from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020
  • 7% from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021

Rate Harmonisation

We now have a single rates structure that applies across the MidCoast Council region, to replace the three different rating systems of the former Council areas.

Rates harmonisation is a legislative requirement for all merged councils, due to be in place for the 2021/22 financial year.

Harmonising our rates structure has not changed the total amount of rates income we generate. What it does mean is a consistent, simpler and more equitable distribution of the total amount across the entire region.

Click here to find out more about rate harmonisation.