Blue Mountains City Council


Special Rates/ Special Variation to Rates

With approval from the Minister for Local Government, all councils have the ability to levy special rates on various towns throughout their local government area specific works that benefit those towns or to increase rates across the whole area to fund works which benefit all ratepayers.

Currently the Blue Mountains Council does not levy any special rates, though it has following approved special variations which are included in your rates and charges:


  • Local Emergency Management Charge  – this commenced in 1996-1997 and is unique to the Blue Mountains as the City is located in an at-risk landscape which requires higher levels of emergency service capability and response readiness than other local government areas. The Council charges this under Section 501(1) of the Local Government Act 1993 and Regulation 125 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005. This charge is a flat rate for all properties, regardless of land value and is itemised separately on the annual rates and charges notice.
  • Environmental Levy – this is a 10 year special variation to rates which commenced in 2005-2006. It enables the Council to allocate $1.2 million annually (adjusted each year for rate pegging) to fund environmental works and services as a long-term initiative to regenerate, repair and improve the local environment. The levy is included in the ad-valorem amount used to calculate rates.
  • Asset Renewal & Maintenance Special Variation – this is a three year variation to rates which commenced in 2010-2011. Its purpose is to fund renewal and maintenance of some of the City’s $640 million worth of facilities and infrastructure, many of which are ageing and in need of repair. It is also included in the ad valorem amount used to calculate rates.




Rating Terminology

Assessment: The rates and charges applied to an individual, rateable parcel of land.

Ad Valorem: 'In proportion to the value'. In rating, the ad valorem amount is calculated as the number of cents charged for every dollar of unimproved land value.

Arrears: Amounts not paid by the due dates which are carried over to the next payment period. Delayed payment attracts a daily interest charge calculated at the rate of 7.5% per annum.

Minimum rate: The minimum amount of rates payable on any assessment. Minimum rates are applicable when the value of the property, once multiplied by the ad valorem amount, ends up being less than or equal to the actual minimum charge.