Rates & Charges Information
Council needs to charge rates to raise review 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.
Rates and charges are issue 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.
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 fire fighting equipment and buildings for the rural fire brigades that operate throughout the rural areas of the region.
Invasive Pests Control Levy
Council levies a special rate (to be known as the "Invasive Pests Control Special Rate) on all rateable rural land within the rating categories detailed below and in the Invasive Pest Control Special Rate - Overall Plan to fund the provision and maintenance of the Invasive Pests Control Scheme. Revenue raised from this charge will be used to fund either all or part of the costs associated with Council's implementation of this Strategy.
Description of Land
(Differential Rating Categories)
Non Primary Production Properties
Commercial and Industrial – Rural;
Primary Production Properties
Agriculture and farming 1;
Agriculture and farming 2;
Agriculture and farming 3;
Utility charges are for a service, facility or activity for water, wastewater and waste management. Since the 2017/2018 financial year water and wastewater charges have been issued on a separate Utility notice.
Click here to read more about Utility notices.
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.
A base access charge is also applied to each property 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 infrastrucutre to contribute to the fixed costs of the water supply operation by way of access charges.
Wastewater Utility Charges
Wastewater 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.
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 1399 697 372.