Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

You may be confused if you have received your 1st quarterly rate notice for 22-23. Confused, because your rates are not what you expected them to be. Why is this? It is because you may be like so many people who simply do not understand how their rates are calculated.

Rate CappingPart of this could be because you have calculated that your rate increase is different than what your Council has said it should be. Maybe because you expect a duplicate increase. A double increase, because your rateable property has increased in value AND Council, has lifted its rates.

Let me say from the outset that a change in the total property valuation across the Local Government area does not in and of itself impact on the amount you pay. If therefore your property increased in value the same as the average increase your rate increase will be the same as that promoted by Council. If your property however has increased more or less than the total valuations across the City then you might pay the equivalent more or less than the average.

You may be curious about me saying “more or less”. That is because if your property increases in value more than the average increase across the City then the rates you are due to pay will also have increased commensurate with that increase. The same can be said if your valuation increase is less than the increase in the average property. You will pay less than the average.

I have experienced this myself. 

A few years back I paid no increase in my rates. My rates remained as they were the year before. No change, even though the Council were budgeting for a CPI plus 1% increase. I remember celebrating that year.

The reverse has happened this year, however. My Council, the City of Unley, has budgeted for a 3.7% increase, a full 1% below the CPI.

The Valuer General has assessed that the collective of residential properties in our local government area have increased by a whopping 28.5%. The good news of course is your rates will not have risen 28.5%, contrary to what some ratepayers might believe. The rate in the dollar we use to calculate the rates has decreased commensurately to address this increase.

Back to my case. Unfortunately for me, my property increased this year in value by some 36%. My rates have increased, as a result of this, by around 9%. I, therefore, share your grief.

Maybe your property increased in value by less than 28.5%. Congratulations. Your rates will therefore increase by less than the 3.7% Council has budgeted for.

 I hope this helps you to understand.