A single rates structure developed for the entire MidCoast region will come into effect from 1 July 2021.
The rates harmonisation process is a requirement of the State Government for merged councils to standardise the rating approach across the three former council areas, and is required to be in place for the 2021-22 financial year.
Under the new structure, which aims to distribute the rates burden more equitably across the region, over 80% of property-owners will either have no change, or experience less than a $50 a year increase, while some will experience a decrease to their annual rates.
“We have worked hard over the past 12 months to devise a new rating structure that minimises the extent of any negative financial impact on as many of our ratepayers as possible”, explained Adrian Panuccio, MidCoast Council’s General Manager. “The process of harmonising rates has also been an opportunity to simplify and build efficiencies in the way we apply rates”.
While property-owners will receive mailed notification of what’s changing and why over coming weeks, harmonising rates does not change the total amount of rating income Council can collect. This is controlled by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal through an annual rate peg. It is a more equitable redistribution of the total amount across all rateable properties.
An online calculator has been developed to help property-owners understand how the new structure will impact their individual circumstances. Entering a property address will display the category or sub-category applied to the property in the new structure, and the change in annual rates.
Visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/rates to use the calculator, or call Council’s customer service team on 02 7955 7777 to access the information by phone.
Individual phone appointments with members of Council’s rates team are also available, along with in-person appointments at Bulahdelah, Wingham, Gloucester, Taree and Forster (see following). To register for either service, call 02 9755 7777.
“It is a priority for us that all rate-payers are aware of what’s changing and how it impacts them ahead of the new rating structure being implemented from 1 July.
“While we are providing a range of information and resources by mail or email and online, we do encourage anyone who wants to learn more about their individual circumstances to arrange an appointment”.