We use land values to distribute rates across the local government area and this is done by using a combination of the land value of the property and a fixed amount per property.

Land values & rates

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) caps the income councils can make from rates in a process called rate pegging. Councils must ensure the total income from rates does not grow by above the amount set by IPART, even if land values rise.

Land values for rating purposes are supplied by the Valuer General’s Office every 3 to 4 years. 

A Notice of Valuation shows the land value of a property, based on property market conditions. It gives landholders the opportunity to consider their land value before it is used by Council. 

Landholders wanting to know more about their land value (or if you believe your land value has been calculated incorrectly), should call the office of the Valuer General, Department of Lands on 1800 110 038, or visit the Valuer General’s website.

We consider the categorisation of land and the land value of your property to calculate rates, then we apply a domestic waste charge and emergency services levy.

We decide which category your property should be based on, according to its characteristics and use. See below:

Ordinary Rate Category Ad Valorem in $ Minimum
Ordinary Residential


Farmland 0.00413088 $1,399.93
Mining 0.00960725 $1,399.93
Business 0.00960725 $1,399.93

Rate calculation method 

The total rates and charges payable by ratepayers is:

Land value x Ad Valorem rate  = Ordinary rates + charges

Therefore, in addition to ordinary rates, we also apply a Domestic Waste Service Charge and a Local Emergency Management Charge (LEMC).

See Rates & Charges explained, for more information


Land valuation FAQ

To find out more about land valuation, download the Land valuation FAQ here.

General information

  • If you live in a single dwelling on land that could be subdivided or developed, the rateable value of your land may be greater than the average for a single dwelling. If this is the case, you may be able to postpone payment of part of your rates. Please call us on (02) 4780 5000 for further information and an application form.
  • The Local Government Act 1993 requires all land to be categorised according to its use. The four categories are Farmland, Residential, Business and Mining. If you disagree with the category, or the use of the land has changed, please call us on (02) 4780 5000 immediately. We can advise how the category may be reviewed, or how to lodge an appeal.
  • A property may qualify for a rating of Mixed Development if it is used for both Residential and Business purposes. The owner of the property must apply to the Valuer General for a Mixed Development valuation. Visit the Valuer General’s website
  • A property may be non-rateable if it belongs to – and is used in relation to the activities carried out by – churches, schools, public hospitals, charities or public institutions – or as otherwise provided for in Sections 555 and 556 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Special Rate Variation

In 2015 we implemented a special rate variation. The variation lets us:

  • fund infrastructure renewal and maintenance
  • stop the decline in the City’s $1 billion worth of built assets
  • continue the environmental programs previously funded by the Environment Levy
  • improve services to the community
  • enhance emergency preparedness and response, and
  • improve overall financial sustainability.

The annual increases were 6.6% in 2015-16 (including 2.4% rate peg) followed by a 9.6% increase for 3 consecutive years to 2018-19. The increase in income from the variation will be $30.4 million.