Council's policy for the collection of unpaid rates is outlined below to assist ratepayers to understand the actions that may be taken in this matter.
Payment of rates by installments
Council will grant approval for the payment of rates by way of instalments where the ratepayer and council agree that such arrangements will allow the outstanding rates or charges payable to be paid by the end of the current half-financial year, subject to the following:
(a) Any applicant failing to pay rate instalments in full by the prescribed time shall have their approval automatically withdrawn.
(b) No discount will be allowed on such payments.
(c) A premium will accrue in accordance with Section 63(4) of the Regulations at a rate equivalent to that defined in the Council's interest policy in respect of all rates remaining unpaid as at 90 days from the issue of Rate Notice.
Rate payment options
Remote payment methods available for the payment of rates include: BPAY, Australia Post, Internet, Credit Card payments over the phone and direct debit. Over the counter payment methods are available for all payments include: EFTPOS, cash, cheque and money orders.
Ratepayers owing rates from three previous years
Ratepayers who owe rates for three previous years will be included in the schedule of properties listed for sale for arrears of rates in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Regulation 2012.
The Local Government Regulation 2012 stipulates that rates and charges are payable 30 days after the date of issue of the rates notice. Council's attitude to unpaid rates is one of encouraging ratepayers to meet their obligations as early as possible by making acceptable arrangements for regular payments of the debt. Council's Rates Section should be advised immediately if ratepayers are unable to meet their agreed commitments. Unless Council is advised of such circumstances, ratepayers may become involved in costly legal action which will be added to the ratepayer's account.
Council has introduced reusable envelopes for posting of rate notices. Simply follow the instructions on the envelope and return your payment in the same envelope. No stamp is required.
Change of address
If any particulars shown on your rate notice are incorrect, please advise Council on 1300 307 800.
A discount of 10% of the current levy General Rate, has been calculated and shown on each rate notice and will be allowed, provided the applicable amount due is received by Council on or before the due date. Payments received in the mail subsequent to the discount expiry date do not qualify for the allowance of discount. Ratepayers mailing their payments are urged to ensure that they are mailed in sufficient time to reach the Council office before the last day of discount to avoid possible loss of the discount.
Pensioner and Self-Funded Retirees
Deferral of Liability to Pay General Rates
Section 125 of the Local Government Regulation 2012.
Council's general rate deferment policy is designed to assist pensioners and self funded retirees to remain in their own home to alleviate the immediate financial burden of rates, solely where there has been a substantial increase in land values causing general rate increases beyond the eligible ratepayer's capacity to pay.
The applicant/s must have owned and resided in the property for the past 10 years.
There must be no overdue rates and charges on the subject property.
The general rate must be 50% more than the minimum general rate and:
Applicant/s must be over the age of 65 years; and
Be a holder of a pensioner concession card issued by Department of Social Security or the Department of Veteran Affairs; or
A Repatriation Health (Gold) card issued by the Department of Veteran Affairs; or
A Queensland Seniors Card issued by the Queensland State Government; or
A self-funded retiree who can substantiate to Council continued financial hardship.
Applicant/s must supply personal financial details as set out in the application form.
The deferred rates will attract interest at the rate applicable for outstanding rates and charges determined by Council at Budget time in accordance with 2.5.3 below.
The applicant/s may pay the sum total or any part of the deferred rates and interest thereon at any time.
The total amount of deferred rates and interest thereon becomes payable on the sale, transfer or bequeathment of the subject property, or if the owner receives remuneration from a paid tenancy of the property.
The minimum general rate and charges coming due must be paid by their respective due dates.
Council must be notified in writing within 30 days of change in ownership or occupancy of the property.
Where a mortgage exists over the property, approval in writing of the mortgagee is required.
On default of any of the deferral arrangement conditions, all unpaid rates and charges become overdue and will be registered as a charge on the land with the registrar of titles by provision of Section 95 of the Local Government Act 2009.
On default of any of the deferral arrangement conditions, all unpaid rates and charges become overdue and will be registered as a charge on the land with the registrar of titles by provision of Section 95(A) of the Local Government Act 2009. For pensioner rebate/remission information please contact us.
How rates are determined
Rates are based on the unimproved capital value of a property established by the State Government Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Council estimates its revenue, operating expenses and capital works expenditure and adopts a budget each year and after taking into account all other sources of revenue the balance amount required is obtained from rates. The rate in the dollar is determined by dividing the balance amount by the differential split in valuations of all properties and the resultant differential rates in the dollar are then applied to individual property values. The rate is subject to a minimum amount which is determined by Council to take account of the cost of providing common services and administration costs.
Properties which have no residence or activity associated with them but which are capable of being connected to the water supply or sewerage system are subject to vacant charges for the availability of these services. This charge meets the cost of mains, treatment works etc. (and in the case of water, the cost of dams, storage and elevated tanks) which have been designed to cater for current population and projected growth needs. These costs are spread over all properties which are being serviced or are capable of being serviced.