Your rates explained

Why do we have to pay council rates?

Your rates help us provide the MidCoast community with a range of services that we all use every day.

Services like road maintenance, footpaths, cycleways, libraries, pools, community services and much more.

We also levy charges for water access and use, sewer services and garbage services.

Am I entitled to a Pensioner rebate?

Under State legislation, some pensioners are eligible for mandatory rebates. A maximum of $250 is available each year on all ordinary rates and domestic waste management charges. People who become, or cease to be, eligible pensioners during the year will receive a concession proportionate to the number of full quarters in which they are an eligible pensioner.

To be eligible:

  • you must be a pensioner with a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or a Veterans Affairs TPI or EDA gold card, and
  • the property must be your sole or principal place of residence, and
  • you must own the property or be legally liable to pay the rates on the property.

War Widow Pensioners who do not hold a Pensioner Concession card may be entitled to a concession provided they meet an income and assets test. Click here for more information and to apply.

What can I do if I'm having difficulty paying my rates?

If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your rates by the due dates contact us on 7955 7777 as soon as possible, preferably before the account becomes overdue. We can discuss alternative payment arrangements that are available to suit your current situation.

What happens if I don't pay my rates?

Daily interest is usually charged at around 6% on all overdue amounts. If you are not under financial hardship and don't make an arrangement or pay by the due date, we may send the debt to a debt collection agency and you may incur legal costs. After five years of non-payment we may sell property by public auction.

How are rates calculated?

Rates are a primary source of income for council.

Each property falls into one of four categories for rating purposes, dependent on the actual use of the property:

  • residential
  • farmland
  • mining
  • business

Taking property categorisation into account, our rating structure consists of two parts:

  • base amount - a flat amount common to all properties within a category
  • residential rate - an amount calculated on the land value (ad valorem rate) so is different for each property

Over and above these amounts, you may also see on your rates notice:

  • a waste charge, which pays for collection of your kerbside bins, landfill operations and other waste services like public litter bins
  • a stormwater management charge, which helps us maintain and improve flood and stormwater infrastructure

Click here for a more detailed outline of how your rates are calculated.

What is rate harmonisation?

We now have a single rating structure that applies across the region. This replaces the three different systems of the former Council areas.

Rates harmonisation is a requirement for all merged councils.

It does not change the total amount of rates income we generate.

Click here to find out more about rate harmonisation.

What is rate pegging?

Each year the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets the maximum amount that councils can increase their overall income from rates. This is called the rate peg. It does not apply to the waste or stormwater parts of your rates bill.

You can read more about how rate pegging works on IPART's website.

Why do I receive a separate water account each quarter?

Not all properties in our region are connected to the water and sewer service. Those that are receive a separate set of fees and charges, specifically relating to connection and water usage.

We bill these charges separately from your ordinary rates to reduce the burden on rate-payers, spreading the total costs out across the year.

Click here to find out more about these charges.

What information needs to be supplied/updated for a deceased ratepayer?

If you are the executor of the estate, remaining joint property owner or know someone who has passed away and owns a property in the MidCoast area, click on this information sheet(PDF, 355KB) to find out what information needs to be supplied or updated.