3 August 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

  • My Mayoral Column this week (see below) discusses important changes on your rates notice, and there are also some other charges which I’d like to explain.
    There is a domestic waste management charge for your garbage, recycling and possibly garden organic service (provided in urban areas). There is a sewerage management charge for areas with a reticulated sewerage service and there is a sullage charge for properties with a pump out service. These charges had to increase to reflect the cost for Council to provide these services.
    Property owners who live in our urban areas will now need to pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that will contribute to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater services across the urban areas.
    More details are provided on the flyer 'Hawkesbury City Council is improving stormwater management' which was sent with the current rates notice. The flyer is also available online at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au Please also see my column below and, if you would like to know more, please call our friendly Customer Service staff on (02) 4560 4444.
  • Rates benefit our community because they help to pay for the services and facilities that our community needs. Rate income is used by Council to
    • contribute to the cost of maintaining the infrastructure you use every day, such as roads, parks, recreation facilities and community buildings
    • Support the programs, events and sponsorship that Council provides for our community and local businesses
    • Administer laws and regulations that keep our community safe and well.
  • If you want access to free, full-colour digital magazines with no strings attached, then come along to an introductory workshop held at Hawkesbury Central Library on Tuesday, 15 August, 10:30am to midday to learn all about the Library’s free downloadable eMagazine collection. If you would like to learn more about this then make a booking on www.hawkesburylibrary.eventbrite.com or call (02) 4560 4460. This free workshop will be held at Hawkesbury Central Library, 300 George Street, Windsor. Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Mayoral Column

By now many of you would have received your rates notice and you will see some changes. Your 2017/2018 rates have changed due to land revaluation by the NSW Valuer General, rate pegging and a change in rating structure, which I will explain below.

In regard to rate pegging, Council’s total rates revenue has increased by the rate peg amount of 1.5% as set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, which is the maximum annual amount by which councils can increase their total rate revenue in 2017/18.

In 2017/2018, Council changed the rating structure to create a fairer and more equitable rating system. Every property owner continues to pay a flat amount, known as a base amount as part of their rates. The balance is worked out on land value. All residential properties, including those previously sub-categorised as rural residential, are now subject to the same flat amount and the same rate in the dollar is applied to the land value of the property.

Council has also reduced the ‘rate in the dollar’ for the farmland category to 90% of the residential ‘rate in the dollar’ amount. The proportion of rates collected from business properties has been increased. These changes to the rating structure generally mean lower rates for farmland and low value suburban properties, and higher rates for businesses and larger, higher value rural properties.

The change in the rating structure has not increased the total income received by Council; it has just apportioned the rates differently across properties. Paying rates helps to fund the services and facilities needed in our community.

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