Griffith City Council Rates Information

Welcome to Griffith City Council's Rates information portal. 

If you need any assistance please email us at communications@griffith.nsw.gov.au or call the Rates Hotline 6962 8466.

What relief measures will Council be providing to rate payers affecting by Covid-19?
Council understands that the COVID-19 pandemic may mean that some people cannot afford to pay their rates now. You can ask Council to give you an extension or allow you to make a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments. It is best that you contact council as soon as possible and definitely before your rates are due.

Requests, whether deferment or payment arrangements, can be made online or contact Council’s Revenue Department on 02 6962 8466 or email us at revenue@griffith.nsw.gov.au and tell us:

1. Your name
2. Your account number (from your rates notice)
3. Your address
4. Your mobile number
5. A brief explanation of your circumstances
6. When you may be able to make a full payment, or if you can make part payments, how much you can pay and how often (weekly, fortnightly or monthly)

Once we receive your email we will review your situation and an application will need to be completed and confirmation of your payment arrangement or account extension be given within 7 days.

Click here for the Application for Deferment of Rates

Click here for the New Deferral Application 

Click here for the 2020/2021 Draft Budget Presentation (21 May 2020)

Why have my rates gone up?
Council buys goods and services like petrol, insurance, furniture, building materials and so on just like you do. Each year the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) tells councils how much they can increase their rates, based on how much the cost of things that local councils  typically use (like building materials, petrol, insurance, salaries and wages) has gone up. This is called the rate peg. This year IPART have set this increase at 2.6%.

Rates are also based on the unimproved value of your land. This means how much your land would be worth if it had no buildings on it. Every three years the Valuer General will issue a new valuation for every property within Griffith City Council. The most recent valuations from the Valuer General were sent to landowners from January this year.

Because land value is a part of how your rates are calculated, if your land value has gone up by an above average amount, so will your rates. The amount of the increase will be different assessments within Griffith City Council.  Some people may have a small increase, others may have a much bigger increase. Some people may even receive a decrease. Various increase in each category include Residential: -35% to 324%; Business: -56% to 339%; Farmland: 11% to 147% and Farmland Irrigable: -29% to 995%

It is very important to note that Council does not set these valuations, they are set by the Valuer General. If you want to challenge the valuation of your land, you can contact them on 1800 110 038.

If you would like more information on the changes in land value and the impact on your rates, we have a more detailed fact sheet you can read. You can also get more information on their website - https://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/

Why have my rates gone down?
Sometimes the value of land set by the Valuer General will be lower than the previous valuation or, if your valuation has increased, it may not have increased as much as other properties. If this happens, the decrease could offset the increase from iPART and you may notice no change in your rates. If the decrease in your land valuation is bigger than the increase from iPART your rates will go down.

Council is asking to defer the Valuer General revaluations, what does this mean?
The Mayor has written to the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock MP seeking her intervention and requesting that Council be authorised to delay the implementation of 2019 Land Values until the 2021-2022 financial year. This would mean that any change to your rates (increase or decrease) that comes from the Valuer General’s revaluation would not be applied to your rates for whatever time period the Premier or Minister set.

The 2.6% increase set by IPART would still apply, so your rates would still increase by 2.6%.

What if they can’t be deferred?
If the Premier and the Minister for Local Government say that we cannot defer the increases, by law Council must apply them. This means that we will have to charge the full amount on your 2020-21 rates notice.

What relief measures will Council be providing to rate payers affecting by Covid-19?
Council understands that the COVID-19 pandemic may mean that some people cannot afford to pay their rates now. You can ask Council to give you an extension or allow you to make a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments. It is best that you contact council as soon as possible and definitely before your rates are due.

Requests, whether deferment or payment arrangements, can be made online or contact Council’s Revenue Department on 02 6962 8466 or email us at revenue@griffith.nsw.gov.au and tell us:

1. Your name

2. Your account number (from your rates notice)

3. Your address

4. Your mobile number

5. A brief explanation of your circumstances

6. When you may be able to make a full payment, or if you can make part payments, how much you can pay and how often (weekly, fortnightly or monthly)

Once we receive your email we will review your situation and an application will need to be completed and confirmation of your payment arrangement or account extension be given within 7 days.

What relief measures can Council put in place for pensioners?
Pensioners already receive a rates rebate of up to $250, however if you are still finding it difficult to pay your rates please email us and tell us:

1. Your name

2. Your account number (from your rates notice)

3. Your address

4. Your mobile number

5. A brief explanation of your circumstances

6. When you may be able to make a full payment, or if you can make part payments, how much you can pay and how often (weekly, fortnightly or monthly)

Will interest be charged on overdue accounts?
Generally, once if your rates are overdue you will be charged interest. The interest rate is set by the NSW Government and is currently 7.5% per annum.

Given the current situation, Council will be waiving interest charges from 1 April 2020 for a period of twelve (12) months. If you use the steps outlined above for either a deferral of your rates or a payment plan, you will be exempt from interest charges.  If you are unable to make payment of your rates account, then you must contact us and request a deferral or payment arrangement in accordance with Section 564 of the Local Government Act 1993.

If I put a hold on my rates, won't I just end up with a bigger debt to pay back?
If you get an extension on your rates you will still have to pay them. An extension will just give you more time which may be useful if you expect your circumstances to change in the near future.

If you don’t expect your circumstances to change, and you are able to, it may be better to make smaller, regular progress payments so that the overall amount does not get too high.

Please contact our rates team at revenueservices@griffith.nsw.gov.au or on 02 6962 8100 to discuss which option might be best for you.

Why does it feel like some areas get more services than others?
Many of   Council’s services – for example our libraries, community events, and customer experience - are provided in the same way, to the same standard for every member of our community. Other services, like Griffith Spring Fest, sustainability workshops, or playgrounds, are available to everyone, but are delivered to meet the needs of particular parts of our community. Finally, infrastructure like roads, parks and footpaths, are provided right across the City but may be improved at different times. Council sets its works program on an annual basis which means that in any one year we will spend more money renewing or replacing infrastructure in some parts of the City than in others.

In the same way that the further you drive a car the more often you will need to get it serviced, we need to maintain and replace highly used assets more often than those that are not used as much. This means that some roads are maintained more frequently than others as the type and volume of traffic impacts how soon they wear out – trucks will damage roads faster than cars. We apply that same principle to all our assets, including playgrounds, sports fields and community buildings.

This can make it look like some areas are better looked after than others. Over time, though, our works programs are designed to ensure that all our facilities right across the City are adequately maintained to provide a level of service that reflects how much they are used.

How can I make a submission, and what will happen if I do?
You can make a submission to the 2020-21 Operational Plan exhibition, as this plan includes the budget and rating structure for this year. Anyone wishing to make a submission can also do so in writing addressed to the General Manager, Griffith City Council. Comments or submissions will be received up to 4pm, Friday 5 June 2020.

If you make a submission to the plan, it will be reported to Council in June. When you make a submission, please remember that Council did not set your land valuation or the amount of the standard increase. These were set by the Valuer General and IPART.

Annual rates notices are issued to all property owners at the end of July each year.

Your annual rates notice is made up of your general rates plus service charges.

The general rate is calculated in two parts:

1.       A uniform base rate for each category

2.       A rate in the dollar based on the unimproved land valuation provided to Council by Property NSW – Valuation

Service charges are for waste and stormwater, if applicable.

Example of Rates Notices for 2019/2020

 

Residential – Vacant

Residential – Occupied

Residential – Strata

Rates & Charges

Land Value - $78,000

Land Value - $78,000

Land Value - $78,000

Ad Valorem

$534.30

$534.30

$534.30

Base Rate (General Rates)

$377.00

$377.00

$377.00

Stormwater Levy

$0.00

$25.00

$12.50

Domestic Waste- Vacant

$40.00

$0.00

$0.00

Domestic Waste – 240L

$0.00

$204.00

$204.00

Domestic Waste  - Recycle

$0.00

$100.00

$100.00

Domestic Loan Fee

$0.00

$107.00

$107.00

Total

$951.30

$1,347.30

$1,334.80

 

 

Business

Business – Bins

Rates & Charges

Land Value - $78,000

Land Value - $78,000

Ad Valorem

$711.52

$711.52

Base Rate (General Rates)

$415.00

$415.00

Stormwater Levy

$0.00

$25.00

Commercial Waste – 240L

$0.00

$520.00

Commercial Recycling

$0.00

$200.00

Commercial Loan Fee

$0.00

$28.00

Total

$1,126.52

$1,899.52

 

 

Farmland

Farmland - Irrigable

Rates & Charges

Land Value - $175,000

Land Value - $175,000

Ad Valorem

$1,420.48

$1,619.80

Base Rate (General Rates)

$397.00

$1,028.00

Total

$1,817.48

$2,647.80

This is an example only; different combinations of bins can apply, depending on service available.  A full list of charges can be found in Council’s Revenue Policy.

PAYMENTS

You can pay your annual rates in full or by four instalments.

The full amount needs to be paid by August 31 and instalments are to be paid by the following dates:

  • Instalment 1: August 31
  • Instalment 2: November 30
  • Instalment 3: February 28
  • Instalment 4: May 31

HOW TO PAY YOUR RATES AND/OR WATER ACCOUNT

B-Pay
If your financial institution offers BPay, you can use the BPay system to pay your account by either the telephone or the internet. You should contact your financial institution or alternatively visit BPay websitefor more information.

When making a payment using BPay, you will be required to enter the biller code and reference number. These are shown next to the BPay logo on the front of your notice.

Remember that your Rates Notice has a different BPay reference number to your Water Notice.

In Person - at any Post Office
Pay your bills in one place, with just one payment - bills such as phone, gas, electricity, council rates and insurance premiums can be paid. You then receive a paper receipt for your own piece of mind.

By Phone - call 13 18 16
For the cost of a local call, POSTbillpay by phone gives you the convenience of paying bills from your home, workplace or even your mobile phone* - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The step-by-step process is quick and easy to use. You will also be given a receipt number as immediate confirmation of your transaction.

* The cost of mobile calls will be charged at mobile phone rates

Post Bill Pay
Pay 24 hours a day, 7 days per week from the convenience of home or any other place with Internet access. Click on the above link to pay your account on-line now.

For a full list of the Terms and Condition of use of the POSTbillpay system, phone 13 18 16 or visit www.postbillpay.com.au

At Council
Bring your notice into Council Offices at 1 Benerembah Street, Griffith. Payment may be made by cash, cheque, credit card or EFTPOS.

For your convenience Council's cashier is open between the hours: 8.10am to 4pm - Monday to Friday.

Direct Debit
You can pay your rates through direct debit. To ensure your payment is processed in time, you will need to return the form, direct debit form, 14 days before your due date.

To cancel your direct debit you need to notify Council in writing on the prescribed form, direct debit cancellation form.  If you are selling your property you are still required to cancel your direct debit in writing.

If funds are not available in your nominated account to pay your rates or water account by the due date, Griffith City Council may charge a dishonour fee and your direct debit agreement will be cancelled.

Periodic Direct Debit
You can pay your rates and water accounts periodically through direct debit. This process allows for weekly and forntightly payments which are processed on a Thursday or Monthly payments processed on the last working day of each month unless this falls on a public holiday or weekend, then it will be processed on next working day.

You will need to return this form, periodic direct debit.  Please be advised if this amount is not sufficient to pay full amounts due by the due date, then interest and legal action will still apply. Please contact a Council Revenue Officer on (02) 6962 8100 to discuss this further.

To cancel your direct debit you need to notify Council in writing on the prescribed form, direct debit cancellation form.  If you are selling your property you are still required to cancel your direct debit in writing.

If funds are not available in your nominated account to pay your rates or water account by the due date, Griffith City Council may charge a dishonour fee and your direct debit agreement will be cancelled.

INTEREST

If you are late with your payments, Council is required under the Local Government Act to charge interest on overdue balances.  The interest rate is not set by Council; it is set by each year by the Minister for Local Government and cannot be varied. The current interest rate is 7.5% per annum calculated daily.

PENSION REBATES

If you have a pensioner concession card you may be eligible for a rebate being an amount of $250 for rates and an additional $175 if you have water and sewerage services from Council. If you think you are eligible for a rebate and it is not shown on your rates notice please phone our customer service centre on 02 6962 8100. Please note that all pensioner rebate applications will undergo confirmation by Centrelink.

PAYMENT ASSISTANCE

Griffith City Council understands that many people at different stages of their lives experience financial difficulties. Please let us know if you are unable to make your payments by the due date. Your situation will be treated in the strictest confidence and we will work with you to make suitable arrangements.

If you do not make contact with Council in relation to your outstanding levy you may be subject to debt recovery action, which could cost you additional fees and lead to court proceedings. Overdue rates incur interest on the overdue balance. This interest rate is required to be charged under the Local Government Act.

RATES AND WATER OVERPAYMENT

Overpayment of rates can ony be refunded if your account is in credit.  Sufficient evidence of the payment will need to be submitted along with the overpayment refund application form.  Refund processing time may take up to 21 calendar days from the date we receive your compelted application.

DO YOU WANT YOUR RATES NOTICES EMAILED?

Get your next Rates Notice via email - it’s convenient and easy. Register here now.

Griffith City Council currently uses valuations issued by NSW Property –Valuations with a base date of 1 July 2016.

ABOUT LAND VALUES

If land values change by less that the council’s average increase, then you will pay more.  If your land value lowers by more than the average decrease, however, your payments will go down.

Ratepayers need to consider that the movement in land value does not reflect movements in rates charged.  Changes in land value cause a redistribution of what individual properties pay in rates with the total general yield.  The total general yield does not change as a result of changes to land value. 

A factsheet of Land values and council rates has been issued by the Office of Valuer General providing information and contact details. 

APPEALS

Any appeal against the property valuation should be lodged with NSW Valuer General

NSW Valuer General

Phone: 1800 110 038 or 02 6332 8188

Or online http://valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/services/object.htm

WATER ACCESS CHARGES

The access charge is designed to cover some of the costs incurred by Council in providing infrastructure such as reservoirs, pump stations and reticulation systems. Because of the fixed nature of the costs incurred by Council in operating the infrastructure, the access charge applies to all properties able to connect to the system regardless of whether or not a connection is in place.

All properties located within 225m of a water main, and can be connected to Councils water mains will be levied an access charge.

Land that is exempt from water access charges: see the section under ordinary rates.

WATER USAGE CHARGES

The potable water usage charge for 2019/2020 is set at $0.72 per kilolitre for the first 200kL per meter, per year, then $1.43 there after

The water consumption charges are designed to meet the fixed and variable operating costs related to the provision of water supply.

The water access charges for the 2019/2020 financial years are set out in the following table.

Meter Size Access Charge Charge per kL $
20 mm $138 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
25 mm $216 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
32 mm $348 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
40 mm $546 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
50 mm $852 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
80 mm $2,175 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
100 mm $3,399 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
150 mm $7,650 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43 thereafter
200 mm $7,650 $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.4 thereafter
Yenda Dual Meters $216

potable - $0.72 first 200 kL, then $1.43,

raw - $0.37 per kL

Strata Title Units $276 not applicable
CBD Unmetered Low $486 not applicable
CBD Unmetered Medium $909 not applicable
CBD Unmetered High $2,907 not applicable
Unconnected properties - which can be connected (vacant land) $138 not applicable

Council elects to deem exempt the following:

  • Dedicated fire services meter

Where a property has an approved dedicated fire services meter, there will be no water and sewer access charge. If usage occurs outside of emergency use, this exemption will be forfeited.

 

Section 496 and 504 of the Local Government Act 1993 advice that the domestic waste management services of the Council must be financed by specific annual changes made and levied for that purpose.  The act prevents Council from applying ordinary rate income towards the cost of domestic waste management services, nor can it use waste charge income for non-waste related functions.

Domestic waste relates to the service that comprises of a period collection of waste that is generated on domestic premises to which the service is available.

Council currently provides the following waste management services:

Charge

Cost per annum

Domestic Waste – 240L, weekly pick-up

$204

Domestic Waste – Vacant, service available but vacant land

$40

Domestic Waste – 240L Recycling – Fortnightly pick up

$100

Commercial Waste – 240L, weekly pick-up

$505

Commercial Waste – 660L, weekly pick-up

$1,349

Commercial Waste – 1100L, weekly pick-up

$2,250

Commercial Waste – 2 x 240L Recycling – Fortnightly pick up

$200

Domestic Capital Loan - Charge per bin

$107

Commercial Capital Loan - Charge per bin

$28

Additional bins or services are charged at the same rate as the bin supplied, therefore 2 x 240L Domestic bins would be $622 per annum (including domestic loan).

DOMESTIC WASTE MANAGEMENT CHARGE

In the serviced areas, a domestic waste management charge is levied against each residential assessment.  The charge covers a 240L bin is picked up weekly.  Domestic Waste Management charge is based on occupancy, therefore if there are multiple dwellings or occupancies, and then multiple charges will apply.

If further capacity is required, then an additional service can be requested which is charged at the same rate.

DOMESTIC WASTE – VACANT CHARGE

In the serviced areas, a domestic waste – vacant charge is levied against each residential assessment that has not had an occupation certificate issued.  This charge covers fees relating to the costs of providing the service.  Only one charge per assessment is levied.

DOMESTIC WASTE – 240L RECYCLING CHARGE

In the serviced areas, a domestic recycling charge is levied against each residential assessment.  The charge covers a 240L bin is picked up fortnightly.  Domestic Waste Recycling charge is based on occupancy, therefore if there are multiple dwellings or occupancies, and then multiple charges will apply.

If further capacity is required, then an additional service can be requested which is charged at the same rate.

DOMESTIC CAPITAL LOAN

This charge that is levied per domestic waste bin and is allocated towards the payment of the Loan taken out to upgrade the Tharbogang Landfill Transfer Station.

COMMERCIAL WASTE MANAGEMENT CHARGE

In the serviced areas, commercial properties can elect to use Councils waste services.  There are three types of bins available being 240L, 660L and 1100L.  The size of bin may depend on what service is available.

If further capacity is required, then an additional service can be requested which is charged at the same rate.

COMMERCIAL CAPITAL LOAN

This charge that is levied per commercial waste bin and is allocated towards the payment of the Loan taken out to upgrade the Tharbogang Landfill Transfer Station.

COMMERCIAL – 240L RECYCLING CHARGE

In the serviced areas, commercial properties can elect to have a recycling service.  The charge covers two 240L bin is picked up fortnightly. 

If further capacity is required, then an additional service can be requested which is charged at the same rate.

 

As provided in Section 496A of the Local Government Act 1993, Council introduced a Stormwater charge in 2007/2008.  The charge applies to all developed lots that benefit from Council’s stormwater system whether built or natural with expenditure of the funds collected recorded and reported annually.

The income from this charge will be expended on both capital projects and recurrent expenditure programs where applicable.  Primarily, the stormwater management service charge will be spent on:

  • Planning, construction and maintenance of drainage systems, including pipes, channels, retarding basins and waterways receiving urban stormwater; and
  • Design and investigation costs associated with implementing urban stormwater catchment management plans
  • Planning, construction and maintenance of stormwater harvesting and re-use projects
  • Monitoring of flows in drains and creeks, to assess the effectiveness for flow management (flooding) controls, and
  • Other eligible costs relating to urban stormwater management as identified.

Council determines the priority and specific projects and areas that would receive funding from the charge, examples of immediately sites or activities are;

  • Ulong Street CBD Drainage-Design
  • Kooyoo Street Redevelopment (drainage infrastructure)
  • Yambil Street, Griffith (drainage infrastructure due to storm water flooding events)
  • Storm water management planning for the Griffith Local Government Area (upgrading of Catchment Management Plans)

Proposed Expenditure would include:

  • Design plans
  • Project management costs
  • Purchase of materials or contracts relating to installing drainage systems
  • Non-permanent employee costs relating specifically to urban storm water projects
  • Consultancy fees relating to flood mitigation studies and catchment management.

RESIDENTIAL CHARGES

The residential sewerage charge is based per tenancy, for assessments connected to Council’s sewerage service network as set out below:

Residential Sewer Access Charge - per enement $852
Unconnected properties which are able to connect (ie vacant land) $669 

 

NON-RESIDENTIAL CHARGES

Non-Residential sewer discharge is calculated using a formula prescribed by the NSW Department of Water Best Practises guidelines.

The formula is: Discharge = Consumption Rate x Discharge Factor x Water usage

Note: Council reserves the right to change or review the relevant discharge factor in individual circumstances.

Meter Size Availability Charge per annum
20 mm $474
25 mm $669
32 mm $1,035
40 mm $1,599
50 mm $2,472
80 mm $6,303
100 mm $9,843
150 mm $22,083
200 mm $22,083
Unconnected properties which are able to connect (ie vacant land) $474
CDB Low - no discharge $852
CBD Medium - no discharge $1,965
CBD High - no discharge $3,426
   

For land that is exempt from water access charges: see the section under ordinary rates.

Charges for sewer usage (by meter measurement) will be charged at the standard usage charge of $1.65 per kilolitre.


EXAMPLE NON-RESIDENTIAL SEWER CHARGE FOR 2019/202

Assumptions:  
  Water Consumption (C) = 500 kL per annum
  Sewer Discharge Factor (SDF) = 0.7
  20mm Water Meter (AC) = $474
  Sewerage Treatment Charge (STC) = $1.65 kL
   
Annual Bill  = AC + (C x STC) x SDF
  = $474 + (500 x 1.65) x 0.7
  = $474 + $577.50
  = $1,051.50

Information and answers to many of the questions we receive about Rates is detailed below.  However if we haven’t covered something, or you would like to speak to someone direct please phone Griffith City Councils Rates Department on
(02) 6962 8116.

 

Please note Griffith City Council rates are payable in full or by quarterly instalments with a range of payment options available. 


If paying your rates in full then you must pay your rates by 31st August each year to prevent interest being raised.

If paying your rates by instalment, the instalments must be made on or before the following dates to prevent interest being raised;  

  • 1st instalment 31 August
  • 2nd instalment 30 November
  • 3rd instalment 28 February
  • 4th instalment 31 May

WHY DOES COUNCIL CHARGE RATES?

Council provides a wide range of services, which benefit the community. These include managing and maintaining expensive infrastructure such as local roads, the Library, Theatre, sports stadium, sporting grounds,  parks, playgrounds and street lighting. Council also provides services such as planning and development assessment, waste collection and economic development. One of the ways in which Council funds these services is through their statutory power to charge Council rates.

Rates account for the largest portion of Council funds. Fees and charges, and grants from the federal and state governments make up the balance.   

HOW IS MY LAND CATEGORISED FOR RATING - RESIDENTIAL, BUSINESS OR FARMLAND?   

In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 Council must declare each parcel of rateable land to be within one of the following categories: Residential, Business, Farmland or Mining. Currently Council also has a number of sub categories dependant on the dominant use of the land; i.e. Farmland – Dairyfarmer, Residential – Non Urban, Business – Permit.

A rating category is determined purely on the dominant current use of your property. Categories do not change zonings, or permitted use or, create subdivision entitlements. The Act is very specific on the requirements for each category. Parcels of land that are unable to be categorised are placed in the default category of “Business” in accordance with the Local Government Act, 1993. If you wish to find out more about rating categories please contact (02) 6962 8100

A ratepayer can, at any time apply for a change of rating category by completing a Change of Category Application Form. All applications are reviewed and processed in accordance with the Local Government Act, 1993 and any changes made will be in accordance with the relevant sections of the Act. You must notify Council within thirty (30) days if a change to your rating category occurs. Alternatively, Council periodically conducts audits and may change your rating category following such an event.

If you are dissatisfied with Council’s declaration of the category of your land after it has been reviewed, you may appeal to the Land & Environment Court within 30 days of the declaration being made, under Section 526 of the Local Government Act, 1993. 

HOW DOES COUNCIL CALCULATE MY RATES?

When Council is preparing its budget for the new financial year, it considers how much revenue will be generated from rates and charges. Council is limited to a maximum percentage that can be raised from certain rates and charges. This restriction is called rate pegging and it is set by IPART  each year.
Council uses a combination of a base amount and an ordinary rate. The ordinary rate is subject to an ad valorem being applied to the current value of the land. The base amount and ad valorem vary depending on which rating category your land belongs to.

The use of a base amount brings the higher and lower values closer together and in effect spreads the burden across the board to all ratepayers. The base amount can vary across rate category types but not within categories.

The ad valorem is the percentage amount per dollar applied to the value of the land. The ad valorem is calculated by taking into account total anticipated rates revenue and the average percentage increase in land values in the area. The ad valorem rate varies across the rate category types.        

Sample rate calculator 
Base amount + (individual land value x ad valorem rate) = annual ordinary rates 
For example: Mr Jones owns land in the residential rating category, which has been valued at $105,000 The base amount applicable is $365.50.
The ad valorem rate for a residential property is 0.006850

$377.00 + ($105,000 x $0.006850) = $1,096.25

CAN I BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING RATES?

Some parcels of land are exempt from rates and charges. These include parcels of land within a national park or crown land and land that belongs to, for example, a religious body, school or recognised charity. Unless you meet the exemption criteria in the Local Government Act, you cannot be exempt from paying rates.

 I  HAVE MADE A PAYMENT TO MY RATE ACCOUNT BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN DEDUCTED FROM MY ACCOUNT, WHY?

If you have made a payment to your rate account and then received your rate notice and the balance indicates the payment has not come off, there could be a few reasons;  

  1. Check your notice; there is a paragraph on the front page that states ‘please deduct payments made since …’ the reason for this is we have extracted all your information from our computers on this day so we can produce the rate notice. Any payments made after this date will not appear on your notice but it will be on our system.
  2. If the date you made the payment was prior to the ‘payments made since’ date and it still has not been deducted from your balance you will need to check your bank statement to see if the payment has been deducted from your bank account.
  3. If the payment has been deducted from your bank account, the next thing to check is the method by which you paid! Did you provide the correct reference number to make the payment? Reference numbers are 7 digit numbers, you may be required to add a zero to the beginning of your number.. The reference number is unique to your property and every property has its own number so if you have inadvertently used the reference number from your previous property then the payment may have been credited to the wrong rate account or your water account.

Please contact the customer service staff on (02) 6962 8100 immediately after you have checked with your bank if you think your payment has gone astray and provide as much detail as you can with regard to the payment. 

CAN I HAVE INPUT INTO A PROPOSED RATE INCREASE?

The Local Government Act, 1993 is quite specific in how Councils can increase rates and charges and before doing so must consult with the public extensively through public meetings and the annual draft operational delivery plan, which is usually, released around April or May each year. All submissions received by Council from the public regarding the upcoming financial years rates and charges are reported to Council and all submissions considered prior to adopting the plan.

This is your opportunity to raise any issues about the rates and charges proposed for the coming year as once the rates and charges have been adopted, they cannot be changed until the following year.

Councillors are aware of the burden any increase of rates and charges has on the community and any rate, charge or fee which needs to be increased is only done after all Councillors are satisfied in the increase in fees or charges is justified.
 

GOODS & SERVICES TAX (GST)

Council Rates and charges are all exempt from the GST in accordance with A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) (Exempt Taxes, Fees and Charges) Determination 2001 (No. 4) Division 81.

WHAT HAPPENS TO PAYMENT OF RATES ON SETTLEMENT FOLLOWING A SALE/PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY?

Once the contract for sale of a property has taken place, the Solicitor/Conveyancer should request a 603 certificate from Council. This certificate is a notification of all outstanding monies owing on the property i.e. rates, water, kerb & gutter or effluent. At settlement time, the Solicitor/Conveyancer should contact Council and request an update to the 603 certificate as new rates, charges or interest may have been added to the account. Rates arrears not paid at the time of settlement remain the responsibility of the new property owner.

It is up to the purchaser, seller and Solicitor/Conveyancer to determine if rates and charges are paid in full for the whole of the remaining year at settlement or up to the next quarterly instalment date. It is always advisable to pay rates and charges for the whole of the year at settlement as the time delay in notifying Council of the sale by the Land Titles Office can mean the new owners do not receive their rate instalment notice causing payments to be missed and interest to be incurred.

WHY AM I STILL RECEIVING RATE NOTICES AFTER I HAVE SOLD MY PROPERTY?

If you are still receiving rate notices for a property you NO longer own – please mark the envelope R.T.S (return to sender) with a date advising “Property Sold – DD/MM/YY”.

Council records can only be amended following receipt of a transfer document detailing the changes to the certificate of title from the Land Titles Office or acting solicitor. Once a purchaser’s solicitor/bank lodges the advice with the Land Titles Office, they will notify council directly. Sometimes there can be a delay of anywhere up to 8 weeks – depending on how quickly the documents are lodged at the Land Titles Office.

We recommend that you contact your Solicitor to ensure the appropriate documents have been lodged with the Land Titles Office, as you remain responsible for all rates and charges until the actual title of the property has been changed. 

HOW DO LAND VALUATIONS ISSUED BY THE VALUER GENERAL AFFECT MY RATES?

Land valuations are supplied by the Valuer General’s Office. All properties within the Griffith area are re-valued every (3) three years. Annual valuations granted by the Valuer General for the purpose of Land Tax cannot be used for the purpose of levying property rates.

All objections and/or appeals regarding the valuation of land must be directed to the Valuer General’s Office. Council cannot alter a valuation without instruction from the Valuer General. If you have an objection pending, the rates levied must be paid by the due date indicated on the rate notice. Once the objection is determined and Council is advised of the amended land value, the rates will be adjusted and the ratepayer advised.

Contact information for Valuer General:
Phone:    1800 110 038
Email:     valuationenquiry@property.nsw.gov.au
Web:       http://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/
Interpreter service available: 13 14 50

WHAT IF I DON’T AGREE WITH THE LAND VALUE OF MY PROPERTY?

Councils do not determine the land value of your property. Land is valued by the Office of NSW Valuer General. These valuations are conducted for Griffith City Council every 3 years and you will receive a valuation notice from them after it is completed.

If you do not agree with the land value, you have 60 days to object to the Valuer General. To contact the Valuer General please call 1800 110 038 or for more information go http://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/  which provides more detailed information.
Even if you lodge an objection, you must still pay your rates while your objection is being considered.

WHEN MUST I HAVE MY RATES PAID EACH YEAR & WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I AM LATE WITH MY PAYMENT?

If your payment has not reached Council by the due date, you will incur interest on you rate account. The interest charge is simple interest calculated daily on the overdue amount. The amount of interest charged is noted on your rate notice and can vary each year. The interest rate is determined each year by IPART and published in the Government Gazette.

Council has a debt recovery policy and this will be implemented if you have not made any contact with Council to discuss your circumstances. With some 11,000 ratepayers, council staff do not have the resources to personally contact ratepayers if a payment is not received. The responsibility remains with the ratepayer to make their payments on time or contact council and advise them of any problems so arrangements or an agreement can be put in place.

Rates must be paid in full by 31st August every year unless paying by instalments. If paying by instalments than a quarterly payment must be received by 31st August, 30th November, 28th February and 31st May each year in accordance with the Local Government Act, 1993.

WHAT IF I AM HAVING DIFFICULTIES PAYING MY RATES?

Council recognises that some ratepayers may experience financial difficulties in meeting their rate commitments on time. A ratepayer may at any time make arrangements to pay off their outstanding accounts by regular payments, subject to the following guidelines:

  • All agreements must be in writing and signed.
  • The amount and frequency of the payments under the agreement are to be acceptable to council.
  • Agreements should, where possible, seek to have the outstanding rates and annual charges cleared by the end of the current financial year.
  • Current rates and charges are to be paid when they fall due in addition to the arrangement plan where possible.
  • All arrangements are in accordance with council policy and will be reviewed on regular basis.

Please download the Request for payment arrangement form.

Council can also provide a hardship application for those people in severe financial distress. To discuss the provisions for hardship please contact council staff direct on (02) 6962 8116. Please note the hardship provision is only applicable for the property you reside in, it does not cover vacant land or investment properties.

HOW TO NOTIFY COUNCIL OF YOUR CHANGE OF ADDRESS

It is the policy of Griffith City Council to only accept a change of address in writing for the protection of the property owner. Notification can be in the form of a letter, email or application form. If all departments within Council are to reflect the change of address, your intentions must be stated in your notification. The records department will then advise those departments. Otherwise, only the rates and water database will reflect the change of address.  Do you want to download a Change of Address Form ?

A change of address will not be accepted if verbally given to Council Officers. It is the responsibility of the owner/ratepayer to ensure the mailing address held by council is correct.

When a property transfers ownership, the liability for payment of rates and/or other accounts remain with the property. The new owner’s details are updated once a “Notice of Sale” is received from the Land Titles Office, which can take six to eight weeks after settlement.   

HOW TO NOTIFY COUNCIL THAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR NAME ON YOUR RATE NOTICE

 It is the policy of Griffith City Council to only accept a change of name in writing for the protection of the property owner in certain circumstances. Please confirm eligibility with Councils Property Officer on (02) 6962 8167 or via email .  Please be advised that this updates your name on Council records only.  The certificate of title can be updated through your solicitor or directly with LPI who will inform Council.  Land and Property can be contacted on 1300 052 637 or email.    

WASTE MANAGEMENT & VACANT WASTE MANAGEMENT CHARGE EXPLAINED

The Local Government Act requires councils to levy an annual charge for providing domestic waste management services to all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used. The Local Government Act, 1993 allows all property owners to contribute to the current and future provisions of waste services.

Your weekly service is for a standard  240 litre bin along with a 240 litre recyclable bin, which is collected fortnightly. Waste collection bins remain the property of the Council and must not be removed from the property when you relocate.

Vacant blocks of land are charged a residential vacant charge in accordance with the Local Government Act where the waste service is/could be available.

Pro rata adjustments due to changes will apply on the date of change - following advice from the Waste Services Department. Requested changes must be made on the approved form, Garbage Application / Cancellation Application.

For all enquiries regarding your waste service, please contact Customer Service on (02) 6962 8100.    

WHAT IS STORMWATER & WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY IT?

Stormwater is rainwater that flows off land. When it rains, some stormwater is collected from your roof, driveways or paved and landscaped areas. It flows over land, or through the pipes and drains to the existing public stormwater system and into our creeks.

All levels of Government have acknowledged that traditional funding sources are not enough to maintain key public infrastructure in an adequate and safe condition so the State Government amended the Local Government Act a few years ago to provide Councils with the ability to implement a program of major improvements to stormwater management, funded by a Stormwater Levy. This decision reflects the fact that Councils need additional funds, beyond their usual budget, to be able to undertake this large amount of work.

If you are a pensioner and hold a current Pensioner Concession Card and are liable for rates and charges on your property and your rebate has not been automatically deducted, you may be eligible for a rebate on your rates. The property must also be your sole or principal place of residence.

To apply for this rebate you should complete and return the Pensioner Concession Application form together with a photocopy of your Pensioner Concession Card. Future rebates will be fully automated.

The rebate varies from one property to another and will be calculated at the time the application is made.

GENERAL RATES AND DOMESTIC WASTE

In accordance with Section 575 (3a) of the Local Government Act 1993, Council provides a rate reduction of 50% to eligible pensioners of the amount of the rate levy provided the maximum rebate for combined rate and domestic waste management charge does not exceed $250.  Of this rate reduction, the NSW Government reimburses 55%.

WATER CHARGES

In accordance with Section 575 (3b) of the Local Government Act 1993, Council provides a rate reduction of 50% to eligible pensioners of the amount of the rate levy provided the maximum rebate for charges does not exceed $87.50.  Of this rate reduction, the NSW Government reimburses 55%.

SEWER CHARGES

In accordance with Section 575 (3b) of the Local Government Act 1993, Council provides a rate reduction of 50% to eligible pensioners of the amount of the rate levy provided the maximum rebate for charges does not exceed $87.50.  Of this rate reduction, the NSW Government reimburses 55%.

For more information, please refer to Council's Pensioner Policy.

BPAY

If your financial institution offers BPay, you can use the BPay system to pay your account by either the telephone or the internet. You should contact your financial institution or alternatively visit BPay websitefor more information.

When making a payment using BPay, you will be required to enter the biller code and reference number. These are shown next to the BPay logo on the front of your notice.

Remember that your Rates Notice has a different BPay reference number to your Water Notice.

In Person

In Person - at any Post Office
Pay your bills in one place, with just one payment - bills such as phone, gas, electricity, council rates and insurance premiums can be paid. You then receive a paper receipt for your own piece of mind.

Telephone

By Phone - call 13 18 16

For the cost of a local call, POSTbillpay by phone gives you the convenience of paying bills from your home, workplace or even your mobile phone* - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The step-by-step process is quick and easy to use. You will also be given a receipt number as immediate confirmation of your transaction.

* The cost of mobile calls will be charged at mobile phone rates

Internet 

Postbillpay Website

Pay 24 hours a day, 7 days per week from the convenience of home or any other place with Internet access. Click on the above link to pay your account on-line now.

For a full list of the Terms and Condition of use of the POSTbillpay system, phone 13 18 16 or visit Postbillpay Website

Direct Debit

A direct debit application form can be provided upon request. Options are available for weekly, fortnightly, monthly and periodic payments and amounts can be determined upon a discussion with a Revenue Officer.  Please phone (02) 6962 8100 for further information

OR

Bring your notice into Council Offices at:

1 Benerembah Street, Griffith 

Payment may be made by cash, cheque, credit card or EFTPOS.

For your convenience Council's cashier is open between the hours: 8.15 am to 4.00 pm - Monday to Friday. Alternatively you can phone 6962 8100 between 8.15am and 5pm to make a credit card payment.