Rates FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about

Rates & Charges

Click on the 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.

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.

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 Budget and Operational Plan.

Below shows a typical breakdown for every $100 we spend:

Where your rates go

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 – 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 Budget & Operational Plan.

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 2021-22 per service charge is $624.10.

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
  • Business strata property: calculated as per a business property and apportioned by unit entitlement with a minimum charge of $5.

For more information please refer to Council's Revenue Policy in our Budget & Operational Plan.

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. This means that Council’s total rate income is capped each year. For 2021-22, the Rate Peg has been set at 2%.

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.

Rates Application for Change of Category PDF, 92.19 KB PDF, 92.19 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 2021-22 per service charge is $624.10.

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.

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.

Land Values

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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 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. 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’.

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.

Rebates

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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.

Payments

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Are there penalties for late payment of rates?

Yes. Interest accrues on rates and annual charges that remain unpaid after the due date. In 2021-22 the interest rate is 6% per annum, calculated daily.

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.

Council is currently accepting applications for the waiver of interest on annual rates and charges for a 4-month period from 1 July – 31 October 2021. If you have been affected financially by the pandemic please apply online.

When do I pay my rates?

We will send your annual Rates notice in July of each year. If you wish to pay your rates in full the first instalment will be due on or before 31 August. If you choose to pay by instalments, your payments are due on or before the following dates every year:

  • 1st instalment: 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.

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 Apply for a Payment Arrangement online.

In addition to flexible payment options, Council is currently accepting applications for the waiver of interest on annual rates and charges for a 4-month period from 1 July – 31 October 2021. If you have been affected financially by the pandemic please apply online.

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