Rates FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about rates

Click on any question to see the relevant answer.

Why do I have to pay rates?

The rates you pay are used to provide a wide range of essential services and facilities throughout the Randwick City community. This includes cleaning and maintaining our beaches, parks and town centres as well as investing in new construction projects and upgrades. Council's activities and projects are outlined in our annual Budget and Operational Plan PDF, 8758.65 KB.

Can I find out how much I have to pay before I receive my rates notice?

Before the final rate amounts are fixed, Council prepares a draft Operational Plan. This plan is then placed on public exhibition for 28 days during which the public is able to make comment via a submission regarding the rates, charges and fees proposed by Council. The exhibition period usually commences during April or May each year. After consideration of the submissions, Council formally adopts the Operational Plan along with the rates, charges and fees applicable for the coming year.

For more information please refer to Council's Revenue Policy in our 2020-21 Operational Plan PDF, 8758.65 KB.

What types of rates does Randwick City Council levy?

There are three types of rates a council may levy: ordinary rates, special rates and charges.

Ordinary Rates

Ordinary rates are used to provide essential services such as the road network, street lighting, street cleaning, footpaths, parks, sport and recreation facilities, environmental planning and conservation, beaches, city rangers, libraries, town planning and building control, economic development, community services, and much more.Council is required to make and levy an ordinary rate for each year on all rateable land in its area. This is a mandatory requirement.We will decide which category your property should be in based on its characteristics and use. All rateable land within Randwick City is categorised as either residential, business or Port Botany Business.

The rate-in-the-dollar amounts differ depending on the category of the land. For example, at Randwick if your land is categorised as residential you will pay a lower rate-in-the-dollar amount of land value than if your land was categorised as business. In some instances when a property is a mix of residential and business use, a mixed development factor can apply which means some residential rates and some business rates will be calculated for the property. Please contact us if your property has both residential and business uses.

If the usage of the property changes (for example, business to residential) you must notify us within 30 days of that change.

If you are not satisfied with the category given to your property, you may apply to have the category reviewed. If you do this, we will notify you of our decision and the reasons for the decision. If you do not agree with the category given to your property, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court. You must do this within 30 days of receiving our review decision.

Rates Application for Change of Category PDF, 92.19 KB

Special Rates

Special Rates can be used to fund specific local benefit programs such as a City-wide Environmental program.

In May 2019 IPART approved a special variation to temporarily continue our Sustaining our City Environmental Levy for a further five years from 2019-20 to 2023-24. The Environment Levy appears as a separate line on your Rates notice.

The amount of environment levy that you pay each year is calculated using your land value and a rate-in-the-dollar amount. Unlike the way that residential and business rates are calculated the environment levy calculation is not subject to a minimum rate.

For more information please refer to Council's Revenue Policy in our 2020-21 Operational Plan PDF, 8758.65 KB.

Charges

The Council must charge a Domestic Waste Management Charge to each separate residential parcel for which the service is available. We are restricted by law to ensure that the revenue we generate from the domestic waste charge does not exceed the 'reasonable costs' incurred by us in providing the service. The 2019-20 per service charge is $586.00.

To see more about your domestic waste service, visit our household rubbish page.

The stormwater management service charge appears as a separate line on your Rates notice. The Stormwater Management Service Charge provides us with a sustainable funding source for the provision of improved stormwater management services across the city.

The charge is determined by the type of property:

  • Residential property: $25 per annum (approximately 48 cents per week)
  • Residential strata property: $12.50 per annum (approximately 24 cents per week)
  • Business property: $25 per annum plus an additional $25 for each 350m2 or part thereof by which the parcel of land exceeds 350m2

For more information please refer to Council's Revenue Policy in our 2020-21 Operational Plan PDF, 8758.65 KB.

What is rate pegging?

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets the amount that NSW Councils can increase rates each year, in line with inflation and other considerations. For 2020-21, the Rate Peg has been set at 2.6%. This means that Council’s total rate income is capped each year. Under the Local Government Act 1993 (Act), councils are able to apply for additional increases in general income beyond the annual rate peg amount. This is referred to as a ‘special rate variation’ (SRV).

In May 2018, the Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approved a special variation for Council to fund a program of projects and services identified by the Council. This program known as Our Community Our Future will run for a period of seven years. The total cost is estimated at $27 million. To achieve this a special variation was necessary for rate increases above the rate-peg for the next three years.

YearFinancial YearRate-peg%SRV % above rate-peg
12018-192.3%5.34%
22019-202.7%3.02%
32020-212.6%2.92%

How does my land valuation affect my rates?

The land value for your property is determined by the NSW Valuer General, who are the independent valuing authority in NSW. All Randwick City Council properties were revalued as at 1 July 2019 and these new values will be used for rating for three financial years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 (1 July 2020 – 30 June 2023).

Land values are one factor used by Council in the calculation of a landowner's rating liability. Increases in land values do not necessarily lead to similar increases in rates.

The 2019 land values increased 6.37% on average across the City of Randwick, with:

  • Residential properties increasing on average 5.9%
    Business properties increasing on average 11.80%
  • Port Botany Business properties increasing on average 14.63%

An increase or decrease in your land from one valuation cycle to another value will not necessarily result in the same proportional increase or decrease in your rates.  This is because Council’s maximum rates income is regulated by the State Government each year.  This income restriction is either via ‘rate-pegging’ or a ‘special variation’.  In 2020-21 Council’s maximum income is permitted to increase by 5.52% in accordance with an IPART approved special variation.

Because the amount of total rates is restricted rates cannot simply increase (or decrease) when valuations increase (or decrease).  What does change when we get new values is the distribution of rates that each ratepayer pays, as a ratepayer’s valuation determines their share of rates. If for example, a ratepayer receives an increase in value which is significantly more than his/her neighbour’s increase, then their ‘share’ of rates is likely to increase in comparison to what they paid last year.

What if I don’t agree with my land valuation?

Land is valued under the Valuation of Land Act 1916 and is a process Council cannot influence. If you don't agree with your land value, you generally have 60 days to object after you receive your Notice of Valuation. The Department of Lands (Valuer General) will facilitate your objection when you contact their Objection Call Centre on 1800 110 038 or by visiting the NSW Valuer General website.

You must still pay your rates while your objection is being considered (Section 36 of the Valuation of Land Act 1916). We will adjust your rates if your objection leads to a change of value.

What are the rating categories?

We will decide which category your property should be in based on its characteristics and use. All rateable land within Randwick City is categorised as either Residential, Business or Port Botany Business.

The rate-in-the-dollar amounts differ depending on the category of the land. For example, at Randwick if your land is categorised as Residential you will pay a lower rate-in-the-dollar amount of land value than if your land was categorised as Business. In some instances when a property is a mix of residential and business use, a Mixed Development Apportionment Factor (MDAF) can apply which means some Residential rates and some Business rates will be calculated for the property. Please contact us if your property has both residential and business uses.

If the usage of the property changes (for example, business to residential) you must notify us within 30 days of that change.

What if I don’t agree with my rating category?

If you are not satisfied with the category given to your property, you may apply to have the category reviewed. If you do this, we will notify you of our decision and the reasons for the decision.

If you do not agree with the category given to your property following the review, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court. You must do this within 30 days of receiving our review decision.

What is Council spending our rates on next year and in the years after that?

Full details of Council’s proposed expenditure for each year is contained in the 2020-21 Budget and Operational Plan.

How can I have a say about the rates I pay and how Council spends the income from rates, annual charges, user fees and charges and grants?

Each year we update our Budget and Operational Plan detailing how we plan to deliver services to the community for the next financial year and beyond and then put it out on public exhibition for comment.

Am I entitled to a Pensioner Concession?

A pensioner concession is generally available if you:

  • are a pensioner and have a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card (PCC), or you are a Veterans Affairs TPI or EDA gold card, and
  • reside in a property within the Randwick city area, and
  • own the property or are legally liable to pay the rates on the property

You can apply for a pension rebate online

The maximum statutory pensioner concession is $250. In addition to the statutory concession, the Council also grants a further rebate of $100 to eligible pensioners.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries.

Are there penalties for late payment of rates?

Yes. Interest accrues on rates and annual charges that remain unpaid after the due date. However, we have waived interest charges since 25 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Local Government limits the interest rate Council can charge each year. In 2020-21 the interest rate is:

  • 0% from 1 July to 31 December 2020 (in response to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 7.0% from 1 January to 30 June 2021

Council is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted households and businesses within our community, with many ratepayers enduring financial difficultly. Whether you have been impacted directly or indirectly Council is committed to supporting you.

If you are unable to pay your instalments as they become due rest assured no interest charges will apply from 25 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. During this interest free period your account will sit in arrears to be paid later when your circumstances improve. If you can pay you are encouraged to do so as interest charges will resume from 1 January 2021 at the anticipated rate of 7% per annum, calculated on a daily basis.

Are my other service charges going up as well?

Details of proposed charges will be included Council's Revenue Policy in our 2020-21 Operational Plan PDF, 8758.65 KB.

Do I have to pay a domestic waste management charge if I am not using this service?

The Council must charge a Domestic Waste Management Charge to each separate residential parcel for which the service is available. We are restricted by law to ensure that the revenue we generate from the domestic waste charge does not exceed the 'reasonable costs' incurred by us in providing the service. The proposed 2020-21 per service charge is $604.75.

Is anyone exempt from paying rates?

Some parcels of land are exempt from rates and charges, including land within a national park or land that belongs to a school, charity or religious group. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Local Government Act 1993, you are not exempt from paying rates.

Can I view my rates online?

You can register to receive your rates via email by signing up to eNotices. Alternatively, can register to receive your rates through BPAY View by logging on to your internet banking.

When do I pay my rates?

We will send your annual Rates notice in July of each year.  However, notices will not be issued until mid-August as 2020-21 is subject to a statutory delay associated with the pandemic. If you wish to pay your rates in full the first instalment will be due on or before 30 September 2020. If you choose to pay by instalments, your payments are due on or before the following dates every year:

  • 1st instalment: 30 September (usually 31 August)
  • 2nd instalment: 30 November
  • 3rd instalment: 28 February
  • 4th instalment: 31 May

It does not cost any more to pay by instalments. We will send an Instalment notice at least 30 days before each instalment due date.

What are my payment options?

You may pay your rates by the following methods:

BPAY

Contact your bank, credit union or building society to make this payment from your cheque or savings account.

Direct debit

Have your rates paid automatically from your bank account. Credit card and passbook accounts are not accepted. Download the Direct Debit Request form PDF, 110.77 KB

Internet

Telephone

Over the phone on 131 816

Post office

Go to any Post Office. Please take your complete notice to the Post Office.

Mail

Make cheque payable to Randwick City Council and send to: Randwick City Council, 30 Frances Street, Randwick NSW 2031.

In person

Visit our Customer Service Centre located in our Administration Building, 30 Frances Street, Randwick.

What if I can’t pay on time?

Council is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted households and businesses within our community, with many ratepayers enduring financial difficultly. Whether you have been impacted directly or indirectly Council is committed to supporting you.

If you are unable to pay this account rest assured no interest charges will apply from 25 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. During this interest free period your account will sit in arrears to be paid later when your circumstances improve. If you can pay you are encouraged to do so as interest charges will resume from 1 January 2021 at the anticipated rate of 7% per annum, calculated on a daily basis.

We would be happy to set you up with a payment arrangement in the interim even if the amount you can afford to pay is only small. To get started on a payment arrangement, please lodge an enquiry via the Contact Us form on our website and a member of our Rates Team will get back to you within a few days.

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