The formal Rating Policy is included in the Annual Business Plan which is adopted by the Council. The rating policy is available on request at the Council Office. The Council's budget and other strategic documents are available here or for inspection at the Council Office.
In setting its rates each financial year the Council considers its strategic plan, the current economic climate, the specific issues faced by our community, the budget for the new financial year and the impact of rates on the community.
BUSINESS IMPACT STATEMENT
The Council has considered the impact of rates on all businesses in the Council area, including primary production. In considering the impact, Council assessed:- consultations with business and farming groups; those elements of the Council's strategic management plans relating to business development; the equity of the distribution of the rate burden between ratepayers; Council's policy on facilitating local economic development; current local, state and national economic conditions; changes in the valuation of business and primary production properties; and specific Council projects for the coming year, specific infrastructure maintenance issues that will solely or principally benefit businesses and primary producers and the profile of businesses including size, range, type and level of employment provided.
METHOD USED TO VALUE LAND
All land within the Council area, except for land specifically exempt (e.g. crown land and Council occupied land), is rateable. The City of Victor Harbor has decided to continue to use capital value as the basis for valuing land within the Council area. The Council considers that this method of valuing provides the fairest method of distributing the rate burden across all ratepayers.
The Council has adopted the valuations made by the SA Valuer-General as provided to the Council on 4 July 2016. If you are dissatisfied with a property valuation then an objection may be made to the Valuer-General in writing, within 60 days of receiving the notice of the valuation (the first rates notice), explaining the basis for the objection - provided you have not: (a) previously received a notice of this valuation under the Local Government Act 1999, in which case the objection period is 60 days from the receipt of the first notice; or (b) previously had an objection to the valuation considered by the Valuer-General. This 60 day objection period may be extended by the Valuer-General where it can be shown there is reasonable cause. The address of the Valuer-General is: State Valuation Office, GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001, email: email@example.com and the telephone number is 1300 653 345. The Council has no role in this process. It is important to note that the lodgment of an objection does not change the due date for payment of rates.
DIFFERENTIAL GENERAL RATES AND FIXED CHARGE
At its meeting of 4 July 2016 the Council decided to raise $19.8 million rate revenue in a total revenue budget of $26 million. The Council has resolved to impose differential general rates based on the following land use categories : Residential - 0.4075 cents in the dollar, Commercial-Shop - 0.5297 cents in the dollar, Commercial-Office - 0.5297 cents in the dollar, Commercial-Other - 0.5297 cents in the dollar, Industry-Light - 0.4686 cents in the dollar, Industry-Other - 0.4686 cents in the dollar, Primary Production - 0.3667 cents in the dollar, Vacant Land - 0.6112 cents in the dollar, Other - 0.4075 cents in the dollar. The differential rates will have regard to the range of services provided, the standard of those services, whether there are any specific budget expenses which may be unique to or benefit a specific land use and new initiatives which may target a specific sector or sectors.
Council has established a reserve fund for the purpose of delivering new and expanded promotional and economic development initiatives. Contributions to the fund, anticipated to be about $350,000 in total, will be generated by a higher differential rate on Commercial and Industrial Land Use categories, as opposed to other Land Use categories. It is generally acknowledged that primary production or rural land has access to a lesser range of services than properties within other land use categories and that the differential of service should be reflected in the rate in the dollar applied. Council also considers that vacant land creates a significant holding cost relating to constructed infrastructure, and seeks to encourage infill development to contain our environmental footprint.
A Council may impose a fixed charge on every property in its area, provided that it has not imposed a minimum rate. Where two or more adjoining properties have the same owner and the same occupier, or where there is a single farm enterprise comprising more than one property, only one fixed charge is payable by the ratepayer.
The Council has imposed a fixed charge on rateable properties of $330.00.
NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (NRM) LEVY
An NRM levy has been introduced which consolidates a number of previous costs associated with animal and plant control, water management, soils management, revegetation, etc. Council has resolved to impose a separate rate pursuant to Section 95 of the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 and Section 154 of the Local Government Act 1999. The rate will be based on the capital value of rateable properties located within the area of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board - 0.010000 cents in the dollar and SA Murray Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board - 0.026550 cents in the dollar. Please note Council is the collection agency only for this State Government levy. For more information about the NRM Levy or the projects it funds please contact the NRM Board relevant to your property.
Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board - phone (08) 8273 9100
Murray Darling Basin NRM Board - phone (08) 8532 9100
PAYMENT OF RATES
The Council has resolved that the payment of rates can be paid by one single payment due on the 8 September 2016, or by quarterly instalments on the 8 September 2016, 8 December 2016, 8 March 2017 and 8 June 2017.
Rates may be paid:
- By using BPAY with participating financial institutions. Please ensure you enter the Council's Biller Code 918532 and your Billing Number when using the BPAY facilities.
- Pay Rates or Debtors On-Line
- By post with all cheques or money orders made payable to the City of Victor Harbor, or by completing the credit card details at the bottom of the rate notice.
- In person at the Council office, during the hours of 9.00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. Please note that EFTPOS facilities are available at the Council Office.
- At any Australia Post Office
- By direct debit (download the Direct Debit Request form here)
To receive electronic rate notices via BPAY View, please sign up on your online banking account.
Any ratepayer who may, or is likely to, experience difficulty with meeting the standard payment arrangements is invited to contact the Council to discuss alternative payment arrangements. Such enquiries are treated confidentially.
Rates Payment Arrangement Application Form(62 kb)
REBATE (RATE CAPPING)
Council recognises that hardship can result from the imposition of substantial increases in Council rates. Applications for a rebate on rates will be received and considered where the increase in rates levied upon a property exceed the 2015/16 rates levied by more than 15%. Such rebates will only apply to residential properties that have not been subject to improvements since 1 January, 2015 and that have been the ratepayer's principal place of residence since the 1 January, 2015. Application forms are available from the Council office.
Application for Rates Capping Form(66 kb)
CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR OWNERSHIP
The Local Government Act provides that Councils impose an initial fine of 2% on any payment for rates, whether by quarterly instalment or otherwise, that is received late. A payment that continues to be late is then charged a prescribed interest rate on the expiration of each month that it continues to be late. For the 2016/17 financial year this prescribed rate is 0.58% per month.
The Council may issue a Final Notice when rates are overdue by $100 or more at 1 July or 1 January each year. Should rates remain unpaid for more than 21 days after the issue of the notice, the Council may refer the debt to a debt collection agency for collection and recovery of fees and legal costs.
SALE OF LAND FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RATES
The Local Government Act provides that a Council may sell any property where the rates have been in arrears for three years or more. The Council is required to notify the owner of the land of its intention to sell the land if payment of the outstanding amount is not received within one month, and provide the owner with details of the outstanding amounts. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the Council enforces the sale of land for arrears of rates.
REMISSION AND POSTPONEMENT OF RATES
The Local Government Act permits a Council, on the application of a ratepayer, to partially or wholly remit rates or to postpone rates, on the basis of hardship. Where a ratepayer is suffering hardship in paying rates he/she is invited to contact the Council to discuss the matter. Such matters are treated confidentially by the Council.
RATES POSTPONEMENT (STATE SENIORS CARD HOLDERS)
Ratepayers who hold a State Seniors Card are now able to apply to Council to postpone payment of Council rates on their principal place of residence. Postponed rates remain as a charge on the land and are not required to be repaid until the property is sold or disposed of. Application forms and further information is available from the Council Office.
REBATE OF RATES
The Local Government Act requires Councils to rebate the rates payable on some land. Specific provisions are made for land used for health services, community services, religious purposes, public cemeteries and educational institutions. The Council in accordance with the Act may apply discretionary rebates. To apply for a Rate Rebate, complete the Rate Rebate Form.
OBJECTION TO VALUATION
To object to your property valuation please visit www.sa.gov.au/landservices and enter 'objection to valuation' in the search field. A written objection of valuation must set out the grounds for objection. Objections are to be forwarded to:
The State Valuation Office,
GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001
(2nd Floor, 101 Grenfell St, Adelaide SA 5000),
Phone 1300 653 345
Fax: 08 8226 1428
OBJECTION TO LAND USE
Differential General Rates imposed by the Council are based on various Land Use Categories. Should you have any reason to believe that the Land Use Category applied to your property is incorrect, you may lodge a written objection with Council outlining the grounds upon which your objection is based (forms are available from the Council office or click here). Objections must be submitted to Council within 60 days of receiving your first quaterly rates notice.
Rates are still due and payable by the due date even if an objection has been lodged.