2020 Rates Review
Port Augusta City Council will be holding Information and Community Consultation sessions from June to August 2020, in relation to potential rate changes. This decision was made in response to the long standing community demand for change and review, of our outdated and complex system.
Why do we want to change?
The proposed change is aimed at making the rating system more equitable for all rate payers, and proposes a rating system based on Capital Value with a base fixed charge, rather than the current Site value and minimum rate system. Councils should regularly review their rating system in terms of equity between different classes of ratepayers due to changes in characteristics of its ratepayer base.
No more than 35% of the total number of rateable properties can be charged a minimum rate. There is currently around 34% of properties in Port Augusta paying the minimum rate. This constraint means ratepayers in the mid to high range will typically have relatively higher increases in rates than ratepayers at the lower range of site values, creating greater levels of inequity.
Fluctuations in capital values of similar residential properties in different zones are generally less volatile than fluctuations in site values.
A ‘fixed charge’ can enhance equity and responds to community feedback in relation to ratepayers paying varying amounts of Council rates.
Council now has the challenge of determining the specifics of the proposed capital value/fixed charge system, in the fairest way possible for all rate payers.
How are rates going to change?
It is important to note that the total rates collected are determined in accordance with Council’s long term financial plan and Annual Business Plan & Budget. The proposed change is in relation to the method and formula used to divide the total rates ‘pie’ between all rate payers.
Council’s current differential rating system is based on a combination of both locality and land use. It is proposed to base the differential rating system (different rate in the dollar) on land use only (urban residential, non-urban residential, coastal holiday settlement, commercial/industrial, primary production, vacant land and other).
The modeling that is being undertaken is complicated and has multiple elements within the formula that can be adjusted and applied. It is too early to determine what the specific impact will be for individual properties as the proposed changes will not occur until the 2021/2022 rating year.
What is the next step?
We will be looking to discuss the proposed changes and provide further detailed information to residents in the near future with the formal consultation process being held in August 2020.
Please keep your eye out for any invitations to Rating Review information sessions over the next few months.
Port Augusta City Council