Towards a Fairer Rating System - Consultation on local government rating reform

Following extensive consultation with the local government sector and the community, the NSW Government has today released for further comment an Exposure Draft of the Local Government Amendment (Rates) Bill 2021 to implement the NSW Government Response to IPART’s review of the local government rating system.

The Exposure Draft Bill, and other key rating reforms, if implemented, will help to improve the equity and efficiency of the rating system and enhance councils’ ability to implement sustainable fiscal policies over the long term.

A consultation guide, Towards a Fairer Rating System, has been released to explain the proposed changes in the Exposure Draft Bill and to assist councils and others to provide feedback on this and other rating reforms.

To provide feedback, please complete the online submission form (below) which asks specific questions on key issues. There is an option to provide general comments in the online form. Alternatively, an identical form is provided at Appendix A of the consultation guide.

You may complete the online form, or post or email the completed form, by the feedback closing date of 5 February 2021 to:

Office of Local Government, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Towards a Fairer Rating System
Locked Bag 3015
Nowra NSW 2541


Towards a fairer rating system consultation

A consultation guide to local government rating reform

  • Contact Information

  • Section One - Local Government Amendment (Rating) Bill 2020

    1. Allowing gradual rates harmonisation for new councils

  • 2. Allowing councils to levy special rates for jointly funded infrastructure

  • 3. Increasing flexibility through new rating categories and subcategories

  • 3.1 Allowing councils to set different residential rates in contiguous urban areas

  • 3.2 Creating a new rating category for environmental land

  • 3.3 Enabling different business rates to be set for industrial land and commercial land

  • 3.4 Enabling different rates for residential, business or mining land that is vacant

  • 3.5 Enabling different rates for residential, business or mining land that is vacant

  • 4. Changing specific exemptions from ordinary and special rates

  • 4.1 Removing mandatory rates exemptions for land with new conservation agreements

  • 4.2 Removing certain mandatory exemptions from special rates for water and sewerage

  • 5. Improving public confidence in the rating system

  • 5.1 Narrow scope to postpone rates and let councils choose whether to write them off

  • 5.2 Allow councils to sell properties for unpaid rates after three years

  • Section Two - Other rating reforms

    1. Encouraging councils to levy rates on mining land to reflect additional costs

  • Section Three - Retaining the rating category for business as the 'residual' rating category

  • Section Four - Requiring councils to report the value of exemptions they grant each year