IPART has approved Council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV) application in full.
The approved overall increase to land rates for the 2023/24 year is 45.78% (including 3.7% rate peg). Council will limit the increase in the residential, farming and business (general) rating categories to 27.7% (including the 3.7% rate peg) with the balance of the increase to be levied against the business power generation sub-category, mining category and a new quarrying business sub-category or sub-categories.
IPART`s assessment found that the council met all of the Office of Local Government criteria for its proposed SRV and therefore approved Council’s application.
IPART`s determination and instrument are available for viewing below:
Enquiries regarding your 23/24 rates
If you have any enquiries relating to the impact of the special rate variation, or the changed land valuations on your rates, please complete the form below and our Revenue team will respond to you.
2022 Land Valuations – Impacts on Rates
The NSW Valuer-General has issued 2022 land valuation notices.
An increase in your land valuation (LV) does not necessarily mean that your rates will increase. The impact of the 2022 land valuations on your rates depends on how an individual land valuation changes when compared with the average valuation across a rating category (i.e. residential, farmland, business).
Generally, properties whose land valuation increase is lower than the average increase will see a reduction in rates. However, properties whose valuation increase is higher than the average for the rating category will see a rise in rates.
Council has provided a Fact Sheet that can be accessed below.
When are my rates due?
Rates and Charges are levied annually and can be paid in full or by quarterly instalments.
If you are paying the annual amount in full, the payment must be made by the due date for the first instalment, otherwise you must at least pay the instalment amounts by each due date.
The due dates for quarterly instalments are:
- 1st instalment – 31 August
- 2nd instalment – 30 November
- 3rd instalment – 28 February
- 4th instalment – 31 May
For the 1st instalment Council will send you an Annual Rates & Charges Notice which will show you all instalment amounts for the financial year (1 July to 30 June).
For the other instalments if you only pay the instalment amount, Council will send you an Instalment Notice at least one month before each payment is due.
If you have recently purchased a new property or if you change your domestic waste service during the year and some instalment due dates have passed (or if the notice is issued within 30 days of an instalment due date), you may receive a Rates & Charges Notice which may not have four instalment payments. For these notices, the amounts levied are split over future instalment due dates in the same financial year. In this case, you will revert back to four instalments the next financial year.
Receive your rates notices via email
Register to receive your rates notices and water usage accounts via email
How do I pay?
For your convenience a number of payment options are available. Details are provided on your Notice.
Allows you to make part or full payment or to schedule a regular direct debit (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). DO NOT use BPoint for quarterly payments, as these amounts change each year and you will be required to contact Council in writing, to amend these payments.
To make payment please do so by using the below link
Telephone payment – 1300 276 468
Internet Payments – www.council.lithgow.com
BPOINT Biller ID – 2121
BPOINT Biller ID – 2154
Telephone and Internet Banking
Schedule payments through your internet banking to make payment from your cheque, debit, credit card or transaction account using the Bpay Biller Code and the reference found on the front of your notice.
BPay Biller code for Rates is – 2121
BPay Biller code for Water is – 2154
Pay Instore at Australia Post, online at auspost.com.au/postbillpay, or by phone 13 18 16 or via AusPost app using the Billpay code and the reference found on the front of your notice.
Billpay Code for Rates is – 0584
Billpay Code for Water is – 0583
You can pay your annual or quarterly rates through direct debit from your bank, building society or credit union account (but not your credit card). To ensure your payment is processed in time, you need to return the Direct Debit Request form, at least 7 days before the due date.
To cancel, suspend or amend a payment for your direct debit you are required to submit your request to Council in writing/email. If you are selling your property you are required to cancel your direct debit prior to settlement.
If funds are not available in your nominated account to pay your rates on the due date, Lithgow City Council will charge a dishonour fee and your direct debit will be cancelled.
A free and voluntary service to pay bills and expenses as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
Centrepay gives you control. You can start, change or stop deductions at any time.
For example, you can:
- set a target amount for when they’ll stop
- set an end date for them to stop within the next 12 months
- choose which bills we pay first
- change the amount if a bill goes up or down
- change the amount for up to 13 weeks, then go back to the previous amount
- pause them for up to 13 weeks, then they’ll start again.
Apply now to pay your rates and water by Centrepay – complete this form and return it to Lithgow City Council, 180 Mort Street, Lithgow.
Rates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do we pay rates?
Council is legally required to levy rates (under the Local Government Act 1993). Rates income is vital for the delivery of a wide range of services which benefit the community. This includes managing and maintaining infrastructure such as local roads, libraries, sports complexes, sporting grounds, childcare centres, parks, playgrounds and street lighting. Council also provides services such as planning and development assessment, waste collection and economic development
How are rates calculated?
Councils can choose how they calculate and distribute rates among categories of rateable properties in the council area – see the Office of Local Government website for details. For each category or subcategory, rates can be calculated in one of three ways. They can be based:
They can be based:
Option 1 – entirely on the land value of the property (known as an ad valorem rate)
Option 2 – on a combination of the land value of the property and a fixed amount per property (known as a base rate plus ad valorem rate)
Option 3 – entirely on the land value, but subject to a minimum amount for land values under a certain threshold (known as ad valorem with minimum rate).
Council continues to evaluate the impact of rates and seeks to ensure the system we use to calculate rates is the most equitable for the whole LGA. The total amount of rates collected by Council remains the same regardless of changes to land values; it’s the rating structure chosen that determines how rates are shared across all property owners
Council uses Option 2 as we believe this to be the most equitable for the whole LGA.
How much each owner pays depends on the rating category for their property and the value of their land.
Council is required to categorise each parcel of land for rating purposes according to their dominant use
If you believe your rating category is incorrect, you can ask us to review your category at any time. If you disagree with Council’s determination after the review, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court under Section 526(1) of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 within 30 days of the declaration.
If your rating category changes, you must advise Council within 30 days.
- RESIDENTIAL – dominant use as residential accommodation or for vacant land the land is zoned for residential purposes.
- BUSINESS – where the dominant use is for commercial or industrial use, or cannot be categorised in one of the other three categories
- FARMLAND – dominant use is for a significant and substantial farming business which is engaged in for the purpose of profit and is continuous or repetitive.
- MINING – where the owner has rights to mine coal or metals from land
The rate set for each rating category is multiplied by the unimproved land value to determine how much rates each property owner will pay, subject to minimum amounts for each category.
The independent land values are provided by NSW Valuation Services and are generally updated every three years so each valuation is used by Council for three years until the next valuation is received. The Valuer General has released new property values as at Base Date 1 July 2022. These have been applied to rates from July 2023. Find more information about this here (link to www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au).
If you disagree with your land value there are avenues available to you to object. Residents should contact the NSW Valuation Services on 1800 110 038 for more information. If the land value is reduced due to your objection, Council will reduce the amount of rates you have to pay. You still need to pay any rates that fall due while your value is being reviewed
Council’s rates income doesn’t increase because of land valuation increasing, so for example if land values increase by 20% the rates income will not increase by 20%. In cases where the values increase significantly, the “rate” charged will reduce from the previous year so that when the new rate is multiplied by the new land values, the rates income does not go over what is allowed to be raised.
In the first financial year new valuations are used for rates, there may be some fluctuations in the amount of rates you pay, depending on how your valuation has changed in comparison to other properties within our Local Government Area. If your property has increased by a greater percentage than other properties, your increase will be greater. If your value has increased by lower than the average increase of other properties, your rates increase may be less significant or your rates can even reduce from the previous year. For the remaining two years the valuation is used, your rates will increase by around the general increase for that year, unless Council changes the way that rates are assessed.
The Valuer General provides a fact sheet to assist property owners with understanding land values. You can view their Fact Sheet on their website here: Land values and council rates
Rate Pegging and rates increases
Each year the NSW State Government through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approves a maximum percentage increase in the total income a council can receive from rates (known as rate pegging), thereby limiting the amount of income a council can charge for rates each year.
The rate peg applies to Council’s total allowable rates income and not to each individual property owner’s rates, so an individual ratepayer’s actual increase may be above this amount, particularly if there are new valuations in use for the first time or if Council is required to catch up rates lost in previous years due to valuation objections.
Councils can apply to IPART for a special variation from this rate pegging increase (known as a Special Rate Variation or SRV). These SRV applications are assessed against criteria listed in the Office of Local Government’s Guidelines. These include undertaking long term financial planning, ensuring community awareness of the need and extent of the proposed increase in rates, and consideration of the impact on ratepayers. In addition, councils must meet criteria related to productivity improvements.
Stormwater Management Service
In addition to council rates, urban property owners must also pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that contributes to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater services across the local area.
The following stormwater charges will be levied on all residential and business properties within identified urban areas (except those, which are vacant, land).
Stormwater levy charges are as follows:
|$25.00 per residential assessment
|Residential Strata Unit
|$12.50 per residential assessment
|$25.00 per 350 square metres on part thereof capped at $1,500.00
Domestic Waste Services
Residential property owners are also required to pay an annual domestic waste service charge. See the Domestic Waste Services for more information about the different options available