Council has delayed the delivery of rates notices by one month and they will now be issued by 31 August 2020 with the 1st instalment due by 30 September 2020.
When residents receive their rates notice, there will be a flyer included explaining the changes and how to read the rates notice.
“Due to changes made for COVID-19 impacts, we decided to delay sending out rate notices by one month,” said Council’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Bascomb. “This decision gave our residents an extra month before rates fall due, still adhering to legislation requiring Council to levy rates before the end of August.”
New valuations were sent out and this changes how rates are distributed across our ratepayers. While many ratepayers will see smaller than expected increases, or even reductions, for others this resulted an increase in their rates. The increases have occurred across many areas, including the industrial land near Cooma and Jindabyne, farmland and residential properties. These impacts occur every three years when new valuations are provided to Council. Depending on what is occurring in the economy this shifts the rates burden each time, as Council is required to use the new valuations.
All landowners pay rates based on their relative land values. The higher the land value the higher portion of the overall rates raised that the person will pay. This is because the rating systems is based on the principle that those with more valuable land have a greater capacity to contribute to the community’s needs. The overall amount of revenue the Council received does not increase with the changes to land values. How much the Council raises remains capped at 2.6%.
Council is in the last year of the rates path freeze, under which Council is required to retain the same rates structure as was in place under the pre-merger Councils. Under these requirements Council it is not allowed to make changes to how Council raises its rates from different ratepayer groups. This leaves Council with the option of encouraging ratepayers to look for valuation variations or offering hardship relief that provides people more time to pay.
Ratepayers who lodged an appeal to the Valuer General will receive a rates notice based on the current land value. These ratepayers should not be concerned about this happening before their appeal is determined. If the Valuer General changes the valuation a new rate notice will be issued using the new valuation.
Water and Sewer Access charges will now appear on Water/Sewer notices instead of on the rates notice for ratepayers from the former Cooma and Bombala areas. Former Snowy River Shire ratepayers already had this information on their notices.
Pension Rebates will be applied to the relevant notices with annual pension rebate amounts for eligible pensioners up to $250 off ordinary rates, $87.50 off water charges and $87.50 off sewer charges.