Rates and Charges

What are rates?

Rates are a form of local tax that provide council with revenue to help fund essential infrastructure and services for our community. Rates are levied on the land value of each parcel of rateable land, which are categorised as either; Residential, Business, Farmland or Mining, with additional sub-categories in the residential and business categories.

Examples of the way in which Tamworth Regional Council use income from rates include:

• Roads, bridges, footpaths, drainage and flood mitigation
• Parks, public conveniences, cemeteries, pools and sporting facilities
• Libraries, community centres, halls and cultural and entertainment venues
• Planning, building, animal, health and public order controls
• Contributions to RFS, SES and other community groups
• Aged, youth and child services
• Tourism, events and economic development.

You can read more about council rates in the Tamworth Regional Council Revenue Policy (PDF 7.7MB).

If you’d like to know more about rates and charges, you can download Why do you pay rates and charges - Local Government fact sheet

The amount by which councils can increase their total revenue from rates per year is limited by the NSW State Government by a process known as rate pegging. IPART (Independent Pricing and Remuneration Tribunal) set a maximum percentage increase each year, which is applied to the previous year’s assessable rate income. A maximum total rate income for the new financial year is then determined, however this does not mean that individual rates will increase by the rate peg amount. Councils are free to set annual charges as required.

For further information in relation to rates and annual charges, please visit The Office of Local Government’s Rate Information page.

Rates Legislation

Council is required to advise ratepayers of the relevant provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 that give Council the power to impose rates and annual charges. The following is a summary of these provisions:

• section 524 Notice of change of category
• section 525 Application for change of category
• section 526 Appeal against declaration of category
• section 556 What land is exempt from all rates?
• section 564 Agreement as to periodical payment of rates and charges
• section 524 What land is exempt from all rates, other than water supply special rates and sewage special rates?
• section 557 What land is exempt from water supply special rates and sewage special rates?
• section 562 Payment of rates and annual charges
• section 566 Accrual of interest on overdue rates and charges
• section 567 Writing off of accrued interest
• section 574 Appeal on question of whether land is rateable or subject to a charge.

How can I pay my rates?

We offer a range of rate payment options to suit your needs.

Direct Debit – Cheque/Savings Account

This is the most cost-effective way to pay your rates. You can select from weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly intervals or make a once-off annual payment, giving you options to best suit your individual circumstances.

If you would like to pay your rates by direct debit, download our Direct Debit Application Form (PDF 415KB). And refer to the Direct Debit Service Agreement (PDF 302.6KB) for terms and conditions.

post billpayAustralia Post

Simply take your rate notice into any Australia Post Office or agency to make your payment.
Or phone 13 18 15 to pay via credit card over the phone.
Or, pay online at Postbillpay

bpayBPAY – Cheque/Savings Account

You can pay via BPay online or over the phone. Contact your financial institution for details on how to use BPay. You will find your customer reference number and biller codes printed on your rates notice and/or water notice

Centrepay

You can make regular deductions from your Centrelink payment using Centrepay. Click here for more information

The account number with the service provider is your property number (shown in the top right-hand corner of the front page of your rates or water notice) and Council's Service Provider's Centrepay Reference Number is 555 054 067V.

In Person (Council Customer Service Centres are currently closed for face-to-face transactions until further notice)

Mail

If you’d like to make payment via mail, please make out a cheque to ‘Tamworth Regional Council’ and ensure it is crossed ‘Not Negotiable. The post your cheque and the tear-off slip from your rates or water notice to:
Tamworth Regional Council
PO Box 555
TAMWORTH NSW 2340

How are rates calculated?

Category and Sub-Category of Land for Rating

The Local Government Act 1993, requires Council to declare each parcel of rateable land within the Council area to be in one of the following categories:

• residential
• business
• farmland
• mining

Tamworth Regional Council currently has six residential, six business, one farmland and one mining sub-categories. The sub-category your property falls into is on the front of your rate notice.

At any time, you may apply to Council to have a land category and sub-category reviewed. If you wish to discuss the categorisation of your land please email Council's Revenue Section, or phone (02) 6767 5555.

For more information please consult the Revenue Policy. (PDF 1.4MB)

How general rates are calculated

The setting of rates each year involves the following process;

• Council calculates the total permissible rate income by applying the approved % increase to the previous year’s rate income
• The total income is allocated over the rating categories
• The total yield from the base amount is calculated for each category (Number of assessments x base amount)
• The remaining yield required is divided by the total land value for each category to calculate the rate in $

The general rate for each property is; the rate in $ (for its category) multiplied by the land value, in addition to the base amount.

Change of Category and Sub-Category

Please notify council within 30 days if you there has been a change in use of your land, which may change the category of your land.

How do I appeal against the categorisation of my land?

If you don’t agree with the Council’s categorisation of your land, you can lodge an appeal to the Land and Environment Court within 30 days of the declaration.

How is my land valued?

Land values assigned for rating purposes are supplied to Council by the Valuer General’s Office and are made approximately every three years. If you don’t agree with the valuation of your land, you must direct any objections to the Valuer General’s Office which is a division of Land and Property Information. Whether or not an objection is pending, the rates levied must be paid by the due date indicated on the front of your rate notice.

Is any land exempt from rates and annual charges?

Certain land classified as non-rateable is exempt from rates and annual charges.

In order to be eligible for exemption from rates and annual charges your parcel of land must fall into one of the following categories:

• churches
• minister's residences
• schools
• public land
• hospitals
• land owned and used by public charities
• other land as provided in the provisions of the Section 555 and 556 of the Local Government Act 1993

If you are dissatisfied with Council's decision you may appeal this decision in the Land and Environment Court.

Why is interest charged on rates and annual charges?

If you do not pay your rates, annual charges or water usage bill by the due date, interest will be added to the outstanding amount as a penalty charge. The interest rate charged is disclosed on the front of your rates and annual charges and water usage notices.

What are postponed rates?

Postponed rates are a proportion of your annual rates that may not have to be paid. To qualify for a postponement of rates, you must be the person responsible for paying rates on a parcel of land which is one of the following:

• land on which there is a single dwelling-house used or occupied as such which is zoned or otherwise designated for use under an environmental planning instrument for the purposes of industry, commerce or the erection of residential flats
• land on which there is a single dwelling-house used or occupied as such which is zoned or otherwise designated under an environmental planning instrument so as to permit its subdivision for residential purposes
• rural land which is zoned or otherwise designated under an environmental planning instrument so as to permit its use otherwise than as rural land, or its subdivision into two or more lots or portions, one or more of which has an area of less than 40 hectares

The postponed rates are calculated on the portion of the land value that the Valuer General determines is related to its zoned or permitted use.

Please contact Council on 02 6767 5555 if you’d like to discuss whether you’re eligible for postponed rates.

Annual Charges

What is a domestic waste management charge?

The cost of delivering domestic waste management services such as garbage, green waste and recycling, can’t be financed from ordinary rates. As such, Council sets a separate and sufficient annual charge to cover the reasonable cost of providing these services.

The costs involved in waste management include
• maintenance and upgrading of Council’s transfer stations and landfills
• licensing requirements of the transfer stations and landfills
• monitoring of transfer stations and landfills
• waste education
• management and administration of all Council's landfill sites

There are a variety of factors that determine what waste charge is applied to a property from the various Domestic or Non-Domestic tiers available.  On your rates notice it will advise what category your property falls in to ie Waste Category 1, 2 or 3 or 'Domestic Waste Management'.  For more information on this you can contact us.

What is a stormwater levy?

This is an annual charge on land that is subject to a stormwater management plan. The charge helps Council cover the costs of the works that need to be undertaken as part of the stormwater management plan. There is a stormwater management plan in place for the City of Tamworth and as such, a levy is currently charged on all properties within the city boundary.

To find out more about the stormwater levy, you can download the Department of Local Government’s Frequently Asked Questions on Rates and Annual Charges.

What are wastewater service availability charges?

Each property that has access to the Council’s sewer service, whether or not the property is connected, is charged an annual levy for wastewater management.

The levy for non-residential properties connected to the Council’s sewer service is calculated by multiplying an availability charge per connection (based upon water meter size) plus a sewer usage charge by a sewer discharge factor. Where this calculated charge is less than the minimum non-residential sewer service availability charge, the non-residential sewer service availability charge will apply. Otherwise the calculated charge will apply.

What are water service availability charges?

If your property has access to Council’s water service, whether or not you are connected to or use that service, an annual service availability charged will apply based on the size of the meter. Properties that are exempt from rates under section 555 of the Local Government Act 1993 are exempt from availability charges, unless they are using the service.

What are water consumption charges?

Tamworth Regional Council charges water consumption per kilolitre of actual water consumed. All residential and non-residential water consumers, except food processors, are charged on based on a tired system:

• 1st Tier - 0 to 400 kilolitres
• 2nd Tier - 401 to 800 kilolitres
• 3rd Tier - 801 kilolitres and above

All rates and annual charges are currently exempt from GST.

For more information on Tamworth Regional Council’s rates and charges, please refer to Revenue Policy (PDF 7.7MB) and Fees and Charges (PDF 3.3MB).

Update my details

Please notify council as soon as possible if your postal address is different to the address shown on your rate notice. Council also accept notifications from a Managing Agent on behalf of a property owner.

You can notify council if your address or the address of your Managing Agent changes using the following methods:

  • In writing to: 
    The General Manager 
    Tamworth Regional Council 
    PO Box 555 
    Tamworth, NSW, 2340
  • by fax - (02) 6767 5499
  • by email - trc@tamworth.nsw.gov.au
  • by completing a Change of Address Form (DOCX 40.7KB)

    Please note: Council will not accept notifications of change of address over the telephone.

How do I change the name on my Rate Notice?

If you need to change the name on your Rate Notice, you must provide Council with appropriate documentation. Please note that changing your details with council only change records held by us. If you would like to change the name on your property title, you should contact Land and Property Information.

Documentation required to change your name includes:

  • marriage certificate
  • divorce decree
  • new driver’s licence

Please attach this documentation to the completed Change of Name Form (PDF 40.8KB).

Pensioner concession rebates

Concessions on Council rates and charges are available to eligible pensioners.

If you receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and have a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government, you may be eligible. Please note that you’ll only be able to claim a concession on rates if the property in question is the sole or principal place you live.

Eligible pensioners are entitled to the following rebates:

• up to $250 on all ordinary rates and charges for domestic waste management services
• up to $87.50 on water rates or charges
• up to $87.50 on sewerage rates or charges

The above amounts are fixed by the NSW Government and do not increase with inflation or in line with rate increases.

To apply for a concession on your rates, you need to complete a Pensioner Concession Application Form (PDF 649.2KB) and return it to Council in person, along with your Pensioner Concession Card. You can also obtain this form from any of our Council Customer Service Centres in Barraba, Manilla, Nundle or Tamworth.

Important Information

If you receive a pensioner concession card after the commencement of a quarterly billing period and you meet the above conditions, you can claim a rebate from the start of the next quarterly billing period.

If you no longer qualify as an eligible pensioner, you will not be entitled to receive a rebate after the end of the quarterly billing period in which you ceased to be eligible. Therefore, if you were granted a pensioner rebate in advance that you are no longer entitled to, it will be charged back to your rate account for the period relating to your ineligibility.

Please contact Council's Revenue Section on (02) 6767 5555 immediately if your eligibility changes.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges for services for the current financial year

Download 2019/20 Fees and charges (PDF 1.8MB)

Rates FAQs

If your question isn’t answered in the FAQs below, please contact the Council Customer Service team on 1300 733 625.

Q: How are my general rates calculated?

A: General rates include 2 components;

1. A flat base amount; and
2. An Ad Valorem amount (a rate applied to the land value of your property)

Council applies a standard base amount to all properties. The base amount for 2019/20 is $160.00.

The Ad Valorem amount is based on your properties rating category and land value. Council has a number of rating categories including; 6 Residential, 6 Business, 1 Farmland and 1 Mining, all with different ad valorem rates. Land values are determined by the Valuer General. The level of rates on your property will therefore depend on; council’s total rate revenue, how this is divided between categories, and how your land value compares to other properties within the same category.

Q: Why is my rates bill more than last year?

A: Your Rates and Charges notice will include the general rate for your category as well as annual charges that may apply such as waste, drainage, water and sewer services.

Council’s general rate income for 2019/20 was increased by 2.7% over the previous year, which was the maximum increase allowed by the State Government under rate pegging. Your 2019/20 rates will be calculated using the same land value as for your 2018/19 rates. These land values are as Base Date 1 July 2019 and take into account the prevailing market conditions as at that date.

Annual charges such as sewerage charges, water supply charges and waste charges are not restricted by rate pegging and are not influenced by changes in land valuations. Increases for annual charges are attributable to:

• Repair and/or replacement of existing infrastructure and/or services
• Providing new infrastructure and/or services
• Impacts on operating costs

Waste, Water and Sewer annual charges were increased by 2.7%, while the Stormwater charge did not increase.

Q: What do I get for my rates?

A: As general rates are a tax there is no direct correlation between what you pay and what you may or may not benefit from. Rate revenue contributes to a number of community services, facilities and infrastructure including;

  • Roads, bridges, footpaths, drainage and flood mitigation
  • Parks, public conveniences, cemeteries, pools and sporting facilities
  • Libraries, community centres, halls and cultural and entertainment venues
  • Planning, building, animal, health and public order controls
  • Contributions to RFS, SES and other community groups
  • Aged, youth and child services
  • Tourism, events and economic development.

The Annual Operational Plan (~~~DocAnnotation.type.253~~~ ~~~DocAnnotation.size.253~~~) provides details of the projects and services proposed for the current year.

Q: Why do I get a Waste Management Charge if I don’t receive a collection service?

A: Waste management for the community includes more than just the collection and processing of waste from kerbside bins.

Council also incurs costs for activities like; waste education and minimisation, chemicals and other hazardous materials collections, and the processing of green waste and other recyclable materials to keep them out of landfill.

Landfill use fees are also kept at a level that does not discourage responsible waste disposal and so do not fully cover all operating costs. All properties are therefore charged a base amount to cover these costs.

Properties that receive a collection service are charged an additional amount that fully covers the cost of collection and disposal of the direct services they receive.

Q: Do pensioners get rebates on their rates and water?

A: Yes, if the pensioner is eligible. Most eligible pensioners will have a current Pensioner Concession Card from either Centrelink or Veterans Affairs. The applicant MUST be solely or jointly liable for rates and charges and MUST occupy the dwelling as their sole or principal place of living.

The amount of mandatory rebate (Section 575) per property or assessment if currently:

• Ordinary rates (residential, business or farmland) and domestic waste combined – 50% of the total of these two items up to a maximum of $250.00 total rebate
• Water rates or charges – 50% of the water availability (rates) and water consumption charges up to a maximum of $87.50 total rebate
• Sewerage rates or charges – 50% of the annual sewerage charge to a maximum of $87.50.

Q: When are my rates due?

A: Rates instalments are due each year on:

• 31 August
• 30 November
• 28 February
• 31 May

If one of these dates falls on a weekend the due date will be set as the Monday after.
Council will send notices prior to the due dates. Should payment not be received for an instalment be the due date interest will accrue on a daily basis and recovery action may be taken.

Q: What happens if my rates payment is late?

A: Interest is charged on overdue rates payments of 7.5% per annum. Council charges interest on overdue payments as is compulsory under Section 567 of the Local Government Act 1993. The interest rate is set by the Minister each year.

Q: Where can I pay my rates and water bills?

A. Please refer to ‘How can I pay my rates?’ for details of all payment options.

Q: I'm having difficulty paying my rates, what should I do?

A: Contact Council’s Debt Recovery Officer as soon as possible on 1300 733 625 to organise an arrangement to pay. Rates and charges may be paid outside the instalment dates subject to terms and conditions as set by Council (Section 564).

Q. I’m currently experiencing financial hardship, what help is available?

A: Council recognises there are cases of genuine financial hardship requiring respect and compassion. Council has a Ratepayers Hardship Policy (PDF 31.2KB) which provides guidelines for the assessment of hardship applications. If you cannot pay your rates by the dates required then please contact Council’s Debt Recovery Officer on 1300 733 625 to discuss alternate payment arrangements.

For further information, see the Hardship Rate Relief Policy (PDF 31.2KB) and Hardship Rate Relief Application Form (PDF 178.1KB).

Q. What happens if I do not pay my rates?

A. Council's Debt Recovery Policy (PDF 324.7KB) details the process that Council will undertake to recover outstanding debts. Council does not issue missed instalment notices and does not commence any recovery action until;

• Amounts overdue exceed $1,000; or
• Two consecutive due dates have been missed and amounts overdue exceed $750.

At this point council will issue a “Letter of Demand” giving 21 days to clear the overdue amounts or make an arrangement.

If neither option is taken, legal action will commence without further notice by the issue of a Statement of Claim (summons), and Legal costs starting at around $400 will be added to the property debt.

If due dates cannot be met or are not convenient, please contact council and we will be happy to discuss alternative arrangements that will avoid any recovery process.

Q: Is there a surcharge if I pay by credit card?

A: Yes, a 0.75% surcharge fee applies for credit card payments.

Q: What should I do if my address has changed?

A: Council must be advised of changes of address in writing. Please refer to Update my details.

Q: I want my water bill to go to a different address, is that possible?

A: Yes, however this request must be in writing. A form is available from the Customer Service Centres or you may write a letter to Council with your request.

Contact Us

For more information on rates please contact us.