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How rates are calculated and spent


Update for Business Owners - 18 October 2021
To encourage growth and assist with recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, the NSW Government will increase the small business fees and charges rebate from $1,500 to $2,000.

Funds can be used to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges (i.e. Council rates and other fees) due and paid from 1 March 2021. Eligible businesses or not-for-profits only need to apply for the rebate once, but can submit multiple claims until the full value of $2,000 is reached.

The rebate will be available until 30 June 2022. Access to information on the rebate, eligibility and the application process can be located via the following link:



Your rates working for you

Rates collected by Council are invested back into the community through the delivery of services. Council will deliver $185 million in services to the community in 2021/22. These services include:
Services Graph


Calculating Council Rates

The total Rates and Charges paid by property owners consist of two charge types:

  • Rates
  • Service Charges such as waste and sewerage (stormwater) 

Refer to the table at the bottom of this page for the 2021/2022 Rate and Charges structure.

The total amount of rates Council collects from ratepayers is capped by the NSW Government.

In broad terms, Council takes this capped total amount to be collected, and divides it by the total land value of all properties in the Georges River Council local government area. The resulting figure is called ‘the rate in the dollar’. A Rate in the Dollar figure is set for each land category, and is reviewed and updated by Council each financial year. (Note the category of your property is listed on your rates notice).

To ensure each ratepayer contributes a fair share, Council uses the method of ad-valorem and minimum rates to determine the amount of rates paid by each property owner. Under this method, we must set:

  1. Rate in the Dollar - rate per dollar of land value (ad-valorem); and
  2. Minimum Rate - minimum amount deemed to be a fair and reasonable contribution towards Council services

Ordinary Rates Charge for Property


Rate in the Dollar


Land Value determined by
the NSW Valuer General

(does not include the value of your home)

You are charged this amount, or the Minimum Rate (whichever is greater).

Note - If you own a strata title property, the land value of the entire site is divided by the unit entitlement (listed on your strata plan), to ascertain the land value for each unit.

Visit Council's Land Valuations page for more information. 

Rate and Charges Structure for 2021/2022


Minimum Ad-valorem
Residential - Ordinary  $965.80 $0.00157010
Business General - Ordinary $1,100.00 $0.00318090
Business Industrial - Ordinary $1,100.00 $0.00389810
Business Local - Ordinary $1,100.00 $0.00369810
Business Major Shopping Complex - Ordinary $1,500.00 $0.00857890
Business Strategic Centres - Ordinary $1,500.00 0.00396360
Domestic Waste Annual Service Charge $474.00
Stormwater Management Charge Residential property:     
- Non-strata $25.00
- Strata $12.50

Non-residential property:       
- Non-strata $25 for every 350 square metres or part thereof  
- Strata not less than $5 for any individual lot    

For additional information, please refer to the Office of Local Government Frequently Asked Questions – Rates and Charges page.


How rates are calculated - Frequently Asked Questions

To view other rates FAQ topics visit our Rates Frequently asked questions page.
  • Why are rates higher and or lower for the surrounding properties?
    For the past 5 years Council has had to maintain two rating systems being the former Hurstville and Kogarah councils. Council has developed a new rating system for Georges River Council whereby rates are consistent across the entire Local Government Area. This new rates structure comes into effect on 30 July 2021 and will support a fair, equitable and consistent rating system.
    For more information, visit the New Rates 2021 page.
    Council’s rating system and valuation changes are the main factors that will determine what happens to rates on an individual property. A general revaluation by the Valuer-General may result in the value of some land increasing or decreasing by more than other land. Where this happens the rates burden will shift.
    For more information, visit the Land valuations and How rates are calculated and spent pages.

  • How does Council decide how much the community pays for Rates and Charges
    Each Council is required to determine the combination of rates, charges, fees and pricing policies needed to fund the services it provides to the community. This is called a Revenue Policy (available within the Delivery Program and Operational Plan). The Revenue Policy contains a rating structure that determines which rates and charges you will have to pay and how they will be calculated. Charges are generally determined on an annual basis (1 July to 30 June the following year).
  • How does Council decide which rating category your property is in?

    Council is required to categorise each parcel of land for rating purposes according to its dominant use. Each parcel of land in New South Wales falls within one of four categories for rating purposes: residential, farmland, business or mining.

    • RESIDENTIAL - dominant use as residential accommodation or for vacant land the land is zoned for residential purposes - Section 516 of the Local Government Act.

    • BUSINESS – where the dominant use is for commercial or industrial use, or cannot be categorised in one of the other three categories - Section 518 of the Local Government Act.

    • FARMLAND – dominant use is for a significant and substantial farming business which is engaged in for the purpose of profit and is continuous or repetitive. Categorisation is subject to an approval process where owners must demonstrate the significance of the farming activity (there are presently no mining properties in Georges River Council LGA). - Section 515 of the Local Government Act.

    • MINING – where the owner has rights to mine coal or metals from land (there are presently no mining properties in Georges River Council LGA). - Section 517 of the Local Government Act.

    All our properties fall into either Residential or Business. If you believe your rating category is incorrect, you can ask us to review your category at any time. If you disagree with Council’s determination after the review, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court under Section 526(1) of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 within 30 days of the declaration.

    If your rating category changes, you must advise Council within 30 days.

  • Can Council change the category of your land?

    Yes. We will notify you in writing if a change is proposed and you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision. The new category will be effective from the date declared in writing by us (generally from the following quarter). This notice must also explain your appeal rights to the NSW Land and Environment Court.​

  • What if I don't agree with my rating category?

    Categories are important because rates differ depending on the category of the land. If you are not satisfied with the category given to your property or if you have changed the use of your property, you can request a categorisation review at any time by writing to us. If you do this, Council must notify you of their decision and the reasons for that decision. If you still do not agree with the category given to your property, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court. You must do this within 30 days of receiving council’s review decision. Contact the court to find out how to lodge an appeal.

  • How does the rate peg affect rates increases?

    Under the Local Government Act 1993, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) sets the total amount of income that a council can raise from rates and therefore the amount that a council can increase rates each year, in line with inflation and other considerations.

    Each year the NSW State Government through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approves a maximum percentage increase in the total income a council can receive from rates (known as rate pegging), thereby limiting the amount of income a council can charge for rates each year. Because of rate pegging, a council's overall rates income is capped, and cannot increase by more than the approved percentage increase.

    The rate peg does not apply to stormwater, waste collection, water and sewerage charges. The rate peg applies to Council’s total allowable rates income and not to each individual property owner’s rates, so an individual ratepayer’s actual increase may be above this amount, particularly if there are new valuations in use for the first time or if Council is required to catch up rates lost in previous years due to valuation objections.

    If overall land values rise, councils may have to reduce or otherwise adjust the amount of rates levied per dollar so that total income does not grow by more than the approved percentage increase.​

    Councils can apply to IPART for additional increases in general income above the annual rate peg increase (known as a Special Rate Variation or SRV). Councils may seek a special rate variation in order to undertake environmental works, fund town improvements, redevelop community and civic facilities, address maintenance backlogs and maintain or improve existing service provision. Under the Act, councils may apply for a temporary or permanent single year increase under section 508(2), or a multi-year increase (of between two and seven years) under section 508A.

    These SRV applications are assessed by IPART against criteria listed in the Office of Local Government’s Guidelines. These include undertaking long term financial planning, ensuring community awareness of the need and extent of the proposed increase in rates, and consideration of the impact on ratepayers. In addition, councils must meet criteria related to productivity improvements. If a SRV application is approved, IPART determines Council’s final percentage increase.

    For 2020-21, the Rate Peg has been set at 2.6%.

  • How is the rate peg determined?

    IPART determines the rate peg that will apply to all councils for the year using a Local Government Cost Index (LGCI). The Index assists in calculating the operational costs of councils in New South Wales.

    The rate peg percentage is calculated by subtracting a determined productivity factor for councils from the Local Government Cost Index.

    Further details about the methodology IPART uses to determine the rate peg can be found on IPART’s website.​

  • Can rates increase more than the rate peg percentage?

    Yes. Rate pegging applies to a council's overall general income and not to rates on individual properties. Within rate pegging, it is possible for some rates to increase by more than the rate peg limit, while other rates may increase by less than the rate peg limit. In some cases, rates may decrease from the previous year. A council's rating structure and valuation changes are the main factors that determine what happens to rates on an individual property. Rating structures may change significantly from year to year.​ A general revaluation by the Valuer-General may result in the value of some land in a council area increasing or decreasing by more than other land. Where this happens the rates burden will shift. Councils may decide to vary rating structures from year to year to compensate for this.​

  • Are all Rates and Charges limited by rate pegging?

    No. Only ordinary rates are subject to rate pegging. Rates and charges for waste management, water, sewerage and stormwater are not subject to rate pegging.

  • Is there any way to control increases on Rates and Charges that are not subject to rate pegging?

    Even though certain rates and charges are not subject to rate pegging, councils are still required to provide details in their draft operational plan and related draft revenue policy of what they are proposing to charge. Councils must consider submissions from the public before adopting the proposed rates and charges.

    Annual charges for domestic waste management services and stormwater must be calculated to reflect the reasonable cost of providing those services to the community.

  • Can I object to Council's proposed fees and charges?
    Council continues to evaluate the impact of rates and seeks to ensure the system we use to calculate rates is the most equitable for the whole LGA.

    Every year, before the final amounts are fixed for the new rating year (1 July to 30 June), Council prepares a draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan that includes their proposed revenue policy for the following year. This document must include details of all rates and charges that the council is proposing to levy on ratepayers. The Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan is then placed on public exhibition around April or May for 28 days. The exhibition period is an opportunity for you to review and comment via a submission regarding the rates, charges and fees proposed by Council. You are encouraged to take this opportunity to view the documents while on exhibition and if you have concerns, make a formal submission to ensure your feedback can be considered. Council must consider any submissions by the public before adopting the plan.

    Following the exhibition period, all public submission will be considered and reported to the Ordinary Meeting of Council scheduled in June when the Delivery Program Operational Plan will be adopted and the rates set for the upcoming rating year. Once the rates and charges have been adopted for a particular rating year, they cannot be changed until the next year.


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