Hurstville City Council
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Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions that Hurstville City Council is frequently asked by the community. Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions are provided below:

Rates  | Waste Recycling

Rates

Why do you have to pay council rates?

Councils help local communities run smoothly. They administer various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. These services include community services, sporting and recreation services, environmen Continue to read...

How does a council decide how much you have to pay in rates and charges?

Each council is required to determine the combination of rates, charges, fees and pricing policies needed to fund the services it provides to the community. This is called a revenue policy. The revenue policy contains a rating structure that determin Continue to read...

How does council decide which category your property is in?

Each parcel of land must be included in one of four categories for rating purposes - residential, business, farmland or mining. Council decides which category your property should be in based on its characteristics and use. Most people are charged or Continue to read...

What can you do if you don't agree with the categorisation of your property?

Categories are important, because rates differ depending on the category of the land. So if your land is, for example, categorised as residential you may pay a lower rate per dollar of land value than if your land is categorised as business. Continue to read...

Can council change the category of your land?

Yes. However, they must notify you of this change and advise that you can seek a review by the council if you don't agree with the category. This notice must also explain your appeal rights to the Land and Environment Court.  Continue to read...

What if you don't agree with the land value of your property?

Councils don't determine your land value for rating purposes. Land is valued by the Valuer General at the Department of Lands under the Valuation of Land Act 1916 (as amended). These valuations are carried out approximately every four years and you s Continue to read...

Is there any way of knowing what your rates and charges will be before receiving your rate notice?

Every year, before the final amounts are fixed, councils must prepare a draft management plan that includes their proposed revenue policy for the following year. This policy must include details of all rates and charges that the council is proposing  Continue to read...

Can you object to what council is proposing?

The draft management plan must be put on exhibition to give members of the public an opportunity to comment. This usually happens around April or May each year. Councils must consider any submissions by the public before adopting the plan. This is yo Continue to read...

What is rate pegging?

The government sets a limit on the total amount of income that a council can raise from certain rates and charges. This is called the rate-peg percentage and it is specified by the Minister for Local Government each year. Continue to read...

Can your rates increase by more than the rate-peg percentage?

Yes. Rate-pegging applies to a council's overall general income and not to rates on individual properties. Within rate-pegging it is possible for some rates to increase by more than the rate-peg limit while others may increase by less than the rate-p Continue to read...

Are all rates and charges limited by rate-pegging?

No. Only certain rates and charges are subject to rate-pegging. Rates and charges for waste management, water, sewerage and stormwater are not subject to rate-pegging.  Continue to read...

Is there any way that councils can increase their income by more than the rate-peg limit?

Councils can apply to the Minister for Local Government to increase their general income by more than the rate-peg limit. This is called a special variation application. The council must include details of its intention to apply for a special variati Continue to read...

Is there any way to control the increases on rates and charges that are not subject to rate-pegging?

Even though certain rates and charges are not subject to rate-pegging, councils are still required to provide details of what they are proposing to charge in their draft management plan and must consider submissions from the public before adopting th Continue to read...

Do you have to pay a domestic waste management service charge if you don't use the service?

Yes. The Local Government Act requires councils to levy an annual charge for providing domestic waste management services on all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used. It is considered that al Continue to read...

If you don't use the service, do you have to pay the same amount as those who do use it?

Councils can charge properties that do not use the service a different amount from those that do use it. However it is up to each council to decide whether they want to do this.  Continue to read...

Why have water and sewerage charges changed?

The Department of Water and Energy has issued best practice pricing guidelines to encourage the effective and efficient delivery of water supply and sewerage services, and to promote sustainable water conservation practices and water demand managemen Continue to read...

As a pensioner, are you eligible for a concession/rebate on your rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Governm Continue to read...

How do you apply for a pensioner concession?

You need to complete a pensioner concession application form. You can obtain these forms from your council.  Continue to read...

If you are eligible, what concessions are you entitled to?

Half of the total of your ordinary rates and domestic waste management service charge, up to a maximum of $250. Continue to read...

Does the amount of the concession increase with inflation or in line with rate increases?

No. The amounts are fixed.  Continue to read...

Is there any plan to increase the concession amounts?

The NSW Government determines the amount of the concessions and, although the level has remained constant for a number of years, the last increase to the concession for ordinary rates from $175 to $250 was significant.  Continue to read...

Can councils offer additional concessions for pensioners?

Yes, although the cost of providing additional concessions must be met entirely by the council. It is up to each council to decide whether to grant additional concessions.  Continue to read...

Can you be exempt from paying council rates?

There are some parcels of land that are exempt from rates and charges. These include parcels of land within a national park and land that belongs to, for example, a religious body or school. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Loca Continue to read...

What are my rates used for?

The rates that residents pay are used to fund vital infrastructure and a wide range of services for the community. Some of the services rates pay for include: Continue to read...

Why do I have to pay domestic waste charge?

Under the Local Government Act 1993, residential waste removal cannot be financed from ordinary rates. As a result, residents incur a separate charge for this service. The Domestic Waste Charge incurred by all residential ratepayers entitles each ho Continue to read...

What is Infrastructure Plus?

Hurstville City Council aims to provide high quality roads, parks and community facilities in the suburbs in a financially sustainable manner through its Infrastructure Plus program of capital works. Continue to read...

When are my rates due and payable?

The 2013/2014 Rating period commences on the 1 July 2013. Continue to read...

How are rates calculated?

Your rates are calculated based on: Continue to read...

Are there penalties for late payment of rates?

Yes. Any amount due and unpaid by a payment date will attract a daily interest charge on the overdue amount. There is no interest free period for payment of an overdue amount. Continue to read...

What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my rates?

If you are having difficulty paying your rates, you should contact Council’s Rates Department on 02 9330 6222 as soon as possible.  Continue to read...

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