Local Government Rating Reform – Future Changes to the rating system
Future changes to the rating system
The Local Government Amendment Act contains a number of provisions which will commence by proclamation in future. In relation to the rating system, these changes will:
- create a new, fifth rating category for environmental land
- allow councils to levy a new kind of special rate for infrastructure jointly funded with other government entities
- allow councils to set separate business rates based on whether land is predominantly used for industrial or non-industrial activities
- allow regulations to be made to better target rating exemptions for land with new conservation agreements,
- allow for changes to be made to certain rating exemptions, and
- limit those ratepayers eligible to postpone rates due to a change in the permitted use of their land to owner occupiers facing hardship.
The Act as amended includes a provision to enable councils to collect levies payable under the Fire and Emergency Services Levy Act 2017 (FESL Act) outside of general income when the FESL Act takes effect.
Councils should note that the NSW Government has deferred the introduction of the FESL Act and the levying of a FESL has been postponed at this time. There is no change to the requirement for councils to pay an annual Emergency Services Levy (ESL) contribution from within councils’ general income.
Local government webinar on rating reform
On 25 June 2021 the Office of Local Government held a webinar for local government about changes to the rating system arising from the Local Government Amendment Act 2021.
A recording of the webinar may be viewed here and a copy of the presentation slides is available to download here.