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FAQs, Concessions and Levies

Why do I have to pay rates?

Local governments provide essential services to their community such as water and waste infrastructure, waste disposal, roads, parks and gardens.

They also administer various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community.

These services include community, sporting and recreation, environmental planning, public health, environmental protection and waste collection, treatment and disposal. The rates you pay allow Council to fund these services.

Council issues rate notices twice a year.

  • In January – for the six month period from 1 January to 30 June.
  • In July – for the six month period from 1 July to 31 December.

Additional rate notices may also be issued when there have been adjustments to the rates and charges levied in January or July. For example if the property is changed from vacant land to dwelling, there will be a levy charge for garbage collection service.

How are Rates calculated?

The value of your property, along with the primary land use, is the basis for the calculation of the general rate. The Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) sets this rateable value and land use.

Each property within the shire is placed in one (1) of 20 categories as set out in the Annual Budget. Rates are calculated on the land valuation of a property, which is multiplied by a 'rate in the dollar'. The minimum charge applies when the resulting amount falls below the set minimum general rate for the category.

A summary of Council’s differential general rate categories is in the revenue statement available to download below.

The Valuer General land valuations were carried out in 2014, to take effect 1 July 2015. For valuation enquiries contact the Department of Natural Resources and Mines on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

I don't agree with my land valuation, how can I get this changed?

If you believe your general rate category is incorrect you can object. The only ground for objection is that you believe your property should be in another category. The objection form can be found on the back page of the Rates Schedule attached with your rate notice and also available to download below.

If you lodge an objection the rates and charges must still be paid by the due date. If the category is changed because of the objection, Council will adjust the rates and advise you in writing.

Does Council offer a Pension Concession?

An eligible Pensioner with a Pension Concession Card or a DVA Gold Card – for all conditions will be entitled to the Queensland Government Pensioner Rate Subsidy of 20% (to a maximum amount of $200 per annum) of the gross rates and charges for each eligible property (excluding the State Emergency Fire and Rescue Levy) and the Council Pensioner Rate Remission of 20% (to a maximum amount of $200 per annum). Concession will apply to eligible ratepayers and will be applied equally to both rate notices.

To apply for a Pension Concession, please complete an Application for Pensioner Concession Form and return to Council.

What other Concessions are available?

In accordance with the Local Government Regulation 2012, Concessions may apply for general rates, water and sewerage charges to not for profit organisations as set out in the council’s Rate Rebate and Concession Policy (PDF). Details of application requirements can be obtained on the application form or by phoning the Rates Department on 07 4776 4623.

Who has to pay the State Emergency Fire and Rescue Levy?

From 1 January 2014, the State Government introduced the State Emergency Management, Fire and Rescue Levy replacing the Urban Fire Levy, and now applies to all rateable properties within Queensland. The new levy recognises that all Queenslanders are at risk from a wide range of emergencies including floods, cyclones, storms as well as fire and accidents.

Why have I been charged for a Rural Fire Levy?

The Rural Fire Brigades are required by legislation to request Council to levy a special charge each year to assist in the purchase and maintenance of equipment within their specific zones.

The Rural Fire Brigade are required to hold a public meeting each year to determine if they plan to request Council to raise this levy and the value of the levy for that year.

Rural Fire Zoning Maps can be downloaded from the bottom of the page.

What is the Waste Management Levy?

The Waste Management Levy is a separate charge that applies to all rateable properties within the Hinchinbrook Shire. This levy helps to fund the transfer stations, green waste processing and other environmental considerations, environmental licensing and control standards applicable to Waste Management. The Cleansing Utility Charge is for the kerbside refuse bin collection carried out weekly.

How am I charged for sewerage?

The sewerage charge is levied on a unit basis and is priced to recover the costs of constructing, operating, maintaining and managing the sewered areas of the Shire. The charge for sewerage service is based on full cost pricing model to recover the cost of the service including overheads and an appropriate return.

The sewerage charge, unit basis of charging and the various principles and classification of uses adopted for the Ingham Sewerage Scheme shall also apply to the several properties connected to the Lucinda Sewerage Treatment Plant.

Can I pay my account in advance?

Payments can be made at anytime. Any payments made in advance throughout the year will sit as a credit against the property until the next rates or water bill is issued.
To set up a direct debit, please complete the Direct Debit Application Form and return to Council.

To cancel a direct debit, please complete the Direct Debit Cancellation Form and return to Council.

What interest is charged on overdue accounts?

Interest will be charged on overdue rates dates from 1 October 2016 for the first notice and 1 April 2017 for the second notice. Interest will be charged on a daily rate using an annual rate of interest of 11% (that is the equivalent of 0.03% per day, and applies on a compounding basis).

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Queensland, 4850

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