Statement of Rating Information 2022-23

 

Including Objects and Reasons for the Current Rating Structure

This Statement is published by the Shire of Westonia in accordance with Section 6.36 of the Local Government Act 1995 to advise the public of its objectives and reasons for implementing differential rates.

The purpose of levying of rates is to meet Council’s budget requirements in each financial year in order to deliver services, facilities and community infrastructure. Property valuations provided by the Valuer General are used as the basis for the calculation of rates each year. Section 6.36 of the Local Government Act provides the ability to differentially rate properties based on zoning and/or land use as determined by the Shire of Westonia. The application of differential rating maintains equity in the rating of properties across the Shire, enabling the Council to provide facilities, services and infrastructure to the entire community and visitors to the area.

 

Gross Rental Values (GRV)

The Local Government Act 1995 provides that properties of a Non-Rural purpose be rated using the Gross Rental Valuation (GRV) as the basis for the calculation of annual rates. The Valuer General determines the GRV for all properties with a non-rural purpose within the Shire of Westonia approximately every five years and provides a GRV. The current valuation is effective from 1 July 2019. Interim valuations are provided regularly to Council by the Valuer General for properties where changes have occurred during the year (i.e. subdivisions or strata title of property, amalgamations, building constructions, demolition, additions and/or property rezoning). In such instances Council recalculates the rates for the affected properties and issues interim rate notices.

 

GRV – General Rate

All land within the Shire used for non-rural purposes (GRV) is rated using a uniform GRV Rate. The uniform rate is calculated and adopted after the consideration of many factors such as current economic conditions, increases to land valuations as assessed by the Valuer General's Office, the infrastructure and service improvement proposals contained in the Budget, as well as other factors. The rate in the dollar set for the GRV-General category forms the basis for calculating all other GRV differential rates.

 

Unimproved Values (UV)

The Local Government Act 1995 provides that properties predominantly used for a rural purpose are assigned an Unimproved Value as supplied and reviewed by the Valuer General on an annual basis. The unimproved value of land refers to the market value of the land in its natural state without improvements such as buildings, fences, dams etc. Interim valuations are provided regularly to Council by the Valuer General for properties where changes have occurred during the year (i.e. subdivisions of property, amalgamations, and/or property rezoning). In such instances Council recalculates the rates for the affected properties and issues interim rate notices. It is considered that for this financial year the valuations imposed by the Valuer General provides the capacity for the additional rate contributions that may be required from different zoning/land use and therefore the need for a differential rate is not deemed necessary.

GRV Differential Rate - Mining

The Local Government Act provides for rural use properties used for mining, exploration or prospecting purposes are assigned a Gross Rental Value supplied and reviewed by the Valuer General. It refers to all land for which a mining tenement has been issued by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), and valued as such by the Valuer General's Office.

 

The valuation determined by the Valuer General for mining tenements is calculated by multiplying the following factors.

  • Rental cost of the tenement type (mining lease, prospecting lease, exploration license, petroleum producing licence etc);
  • GRV basis as determined by the DMP, and
  • Tenement/license area

 

The valuation of mining tenements is not reviewed each year, as occurs with other UV properties and only changes when the tenement rental is amended.

 

Objects and Reasons for GRV Mining Differential Rate

Land used for Mining is rated higher than the GRV-General rate to improve fairness and equity outcomes by:

  • Ensuring mining rates payable are no less than the average rates payable, per property, in part to;

- compensate for the different method and comparatively lower valuation level;

- to recognise the often short term tenure of mining projects in the region; and

- to maintain comparability with other commercial operations in the rural sector.

 

  • Applying a percentage premium above the average rates payable, per property, at a level determined by the Council, to reflect the following:

- the impacts of higher road infrastructure maintenance costs to Council as a result of frequent very heavy vehicle use over extensive lengths of roads throughout the year;

- additional emergency service arrangements that have to be put in place;

- the monitoring of environmental impacts of clearing, noise, dust and smell;

- planning, building and health assessment cost; and

- additional costs of amenities and services provided to cater for the employees of the mining operations, such as recreation, parking and law, order and public safety due to the increased population of the 160 man mining camp situated in the Westonia townsite which almost triples the population of the town and creates a massive burden on Council’s resources.

 

Minimum Payments

The setting of general minimum payment level within all rating categories is an important method of ensuring all properties contribute an equitable rate amount to non-exclusive services.

 

Objections & Appeals

Objections to valuations must be lodged with the Valuer General's Office within 60 days after issue of the rates notice. Rates are still required to be paid if an objection is lodged with a refund paid if the objection is successful. Forms are available from the Shire Office or on our web site.

Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1995, a property owner is able to lodge an objection to the rates imposed by a Council on the following grounds:

  • There is an error on the rate assessment, either in respect to the owners or property details; or
  • The characteristics of the land differ from that used in the differential rating system. The objection is to be received within 60 days of the issue of the rate notice.

 

Please contact Shire Staff if you would like to discuss this matter further.

 

Pensioner’s Discount

Eligible Pensioners are entitled to receive a discount on their rates. Council shall determine the nature and extent of entitlement from details as at 1 July, in relation to ownership and occupation. Also a pro-rata rebate amount will be paid if a person becomes the holder of an eligible card type during the financial year which is effective from the date of registration. A deferral arrangement is also possible.

If the circumstances of a Pensioner, who is already claiming the rebate, have changed during the previous year, they will need to update their details (ie. card number, etc) with Council.

Submissions are invited from any Elector or Ratepayer with respect to the proposed differential rate within 21 days of the date of the notice of intent.

 

All submissions in writing should be forwarded to the Shire of Westonia no later than 4:00pm on Thursday 26th May 2022.

 

 

Bill Price

Chief Executive Officer

Shire of Westonia.