Rates & Charges Information
Council needs to charge rates to raise revenue so services and infrastructure can be provided to the community. Each year, as part of the budget process, Council decides the rates and charges for the financial year. Council must levy a General rate on all rateable land, however, Council also applies a number of different charges for different services and to account for a "User Pays" principle.
Click here to access Council's current Revenue Statement (PDF 694.7KB).
Rates and charges are issued via a rate notice. Council issues a number of rate notices each year depending on what services are provide to your property, when services commence or end and when changes occur to your property.
Click here to read more about Rate Notices.
Council offers a variety of payment options to pay rates and utility charges.
Council must levy a General rate on all rateable land. General rates are levied based on the unimproved value of the land and is expressed as a number of cents per dollar of valuation. Council also applies a minimum general rate - a minimum amount payable of a general rate regardless of the valuation and cents per dollar. This is to account for the minimum level of service Council provides to each property.
General rates are for services, facilities and activities that are supplied or undertaken for the benefit of the community. Council is required to raise an appropriate amount of revenue to maintain assets and provide services to the region as a whole. In deciding how the revenue is raised, Council considers:
- The rateable value of the land
- Relative valuation between different types of land
- The approach to general rating adopted by the Southern Downs Regional Council for financial year
- The demand that some land users place on Council provided services.
Click here to read more about Land Valuations.
Rate categories (Differential general rate categories)
Council has a differential general rating scheme that recognises the diverse demographics of the region. This approach recognises land used for the following purposes:
- Commercial and general industrial
- Primary production
- Heavy industrial
- Special Uses
Click here to read more about rating categories.
A separate rate or charge is levied equally on all rateable land in the local government area to fund a particular service, facility or activity that benefits the entire community.
Landfill Access Charge
Pursuant to section 94 of the Local Government Act 2009 and section 103 of Local Government Regulation 2012, Council will levy a separate charge (to be known as the ‘Landfill Access Charge’), on all rateable land, to be levied equally on all rateable land in the region, for the purposes of implementation of the Southern Downs Regional Council Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan 2021 - 2024 which includes consolidation, rationalisation and improvements to Council’s waste management facilities and rehabilitation of closed landfill sites.
Special charges are for services, facilities and activities that have a special association with a particular land.
Rural Fire Equipment Levy
Pursuant to section 94 of the Local government Regulation 2012 and section 128A of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, Council will levy a special charge (to be known as the "Rural Fire Equipment Levy") on all rateable land within the region that also attracts a Class E Emergency Management Levy (pursuant to Part 3 of the Fire and Emergency Services Regulation 2011), to fund the ongoing provision and maintenance of rural firefighting equipment and buildings for the rural fire brigades that operate throughout the rural areas of the region.
Utility charges are for a service, facility or activity for water, wastewater and waste management.
Water Utility Charges
Water utility charges are determined, collected and used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning, water demand management and constructing water infrastructure (including interest and redemption charges incurred by Council) and the cost of operating, maintaining and managing the water supply system.
The charges will apply to all ratepayers who have access or may have access to Council's water supply infrastructure and, with limited exceptions, comprise:
- An annual access charge
- A charge for each kilolitre consumed which adjusts for higher levels of consumption. For more details on water consumption charges go to Water Meter Readings and Consumption.
A base access charge is also applied to each parcel within the water area that is not connected to the Council's reticulated water supply system. Council believes that it is logical and equitable for all ratepayers who have access or may have access to council's water supply infrastructure to contribute to the fixed costs of the water supply operation by way of access charges.
Sewer Utility Charges
Sewer utility charges are determined, collected and used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning and constructing sewer infrastructure (including interest and redemption charges incurred by Council) and the cost of operating, maintaining and managing the sewer system. The charge is set so as to recover these costs.
The utility charges for sewer services will be charged based on the usage of the property and calculated on each soil fixture (e.g. W.C. pedestal and urinal) installed on each property or each connection. In the event of no soil fixtures being installed on non-residential land connected to Council’s sewer system, a utility charge for sewer services will be charged per connection.
A sewer charge is applied per tenement regardless of whether the tenement is separately connected to Council’s sewer system or shares sewer services such as a single sewer connection to the property which services multiple tenements. Each tenement is treated as a separate connection. “Tenement” includes any premises that can be separately used, for example:
- Multiple private dwelling on a single parcel; or
- A flat, apartment or other dwelling unit used as a separate domicile; or
- Residential units erected upon lots created pursuant to the provisions of the Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 or the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997; or
- A boarding house, hostel, lodging house, or guest house.
A base access charge is also applied to each parcel that is not connected to the Council’s reticulated sewer supply. Council believes that it is logical and equitable for all ratepayers who have access or may have access to council's sewer infrastructure to contribute to the fixed costs of the sewer operation by way of access charges.
Waste Utility Charges
Waste management utility charges are determined on a user pays basis and are collected and used for the purpose of covering the cost of supplying a waste management service for the removal and disposal of waste. the charges are set so as to recover waste management costs including:
- Waste service administration
- Waste facility operation
- Waste minimisation and reduction education
- Post closure of waste facilities.
The waste management services provided include:
- Residential waste collection
- Residential recycling collection.
Integrated in the provision of waste management services is a recycling program. With respect to domestic waste, a waste management utility charge is applied per tenement where a normal waste collection service and recycling collection service is not applied per tenement due to sharing of services such as bulk waste bin services. "Tenement" includes any premises used a a separate domicile such as, for example:
A single unit private dwelling or
- Premises containing 2 or more flats, apartments or other dwelling units, each used as a separate domicile; or
- A boarding house, hostel, lodging house, or guest house.
Trade Waste Utility Charges
Revenue from these charges is used for the purpose of recovering the additional costs of operating, maintaining and managing the sewerage system, resulting from acceptance of waste from commercial and industrial premises which have an organic strength greater than that of domestic sewerage and which may also contain a variety of exotic substances such as heavy metals, organic solvents, and chlorinated organics which sewerage treatment systems are not designed to treat.
State Government Emergency Management Levy
The Queensland Government has amended the Fire and Rescue Act 1990, requiring Councils to levy and collect, on its behalf, an Emergency Management Levy. This levy replaces the State Urban Fire Levy and has been extended to include all properties in Queensland.
The levy is to provide a more sustainable funding base for emergency services, recognising that all Queenslanders are at risk from possible floods, cyclones, storms, fires and accidents. It will be used by local Rural Fire Groups to fund activities within our region. The levy is based on property use, the structures on the property and the fire and rescue capability in that area.
The boundary amendment information for the Warwick Levy District (WLD) amendment has been issued to impacted property owners.
The boundary amendment information has also been uploaded onto the QFES website: https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/about/em-levy/Pages/Warwick-Levy-District.aspx.
Please contact Queensland Fire and Emergency Services on 13 74 68 for more information regarding the levy.
Should you disagree with the classification of your property please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 1300 697 372.