How are rates set?
The amount of of rates payable is determined by three factors: the method of valuing the land; the valuation of the land and improvements; and the rate in the dollar applied to that valuation by the local government.
The Minister for Local Government determines the appropriate method for the valuation of the land according to the relevant legislation and the rating policy on the valuation of land: that is, whether the unimproved value or the gross rental value
of the land applies. This is based on the purpose for which the land is held or used.
The Valuer General values the land in line with the Valuation of Land Act 1978. More information is available in the
Valuer General’s Guide to Rating and Taxing Values.
As part of its budgetary process, a local government will establish its budget deficit and set its rates to cover this shortfall. These will be imposed as a rate in the dollar, which will be applied to the valuation determined by the Valuer General.
If a local government decides to impose differential general rates (that is, apply different rates according to zoning, land use, whether the land is vacant or a combination of these factors), it must advertise these proposed rates in a newspaper
circulating generally throughout the district, on a noticeboard at the local government’s offices, and at all libraries in the district.
This will occur after 1 May in any year and the local government must provide a minimum of 21 days after the advertisement appears for any elector or ratepayer to make a submission. Submissions must be considered by the council before imposing the proposed rate or minimum payment
with or without modification.
Rating decisions and the budget process webinar