Understanding rates & charges

West Toowoomba aerial

General rates are for services, facilities and activities that are supplied or undertaken for the benefit of the community. We are required to raise an appropriate amount of revenue to maintain assets and provide services to the region as a whole. In deciding how the revenue is raised, Council considers:

  • the rateable value of the land and the benefit of averaging valuations
  • relative valuation between different types of land
  • the approach to general rating adopted by the Toowoomba Regional Council for the 2017-18 financial year
  • the demand that some land users place on Council provided services

Rate descriptions

The following rate descriptions have been extracted from Special Meeting of Council- 29 June 2017- (Minutes 2017/2018 Budget) 

Separate charges are for any other service, facility or activity that is not funded through other rates and charges.

 Council will levy separate charges on all rateable land within the region for:

  1.  Park and Bushland Acquisition and/or Maintenance
  2.  Environmental Acquisition and/or Maintenance
  3.  Natural Resource Management

In each case, it is considered that it is more appropriate to raise these funds by a separate charge, rather than from general funds, so that the community is aware of  Council’s commitment to the three specific activities to be funded by the charges.

Park and Bushland Levy

A separate charge will be levied equally on all rateable land within the region for park or open space corridors or bushland preservation purposes. The amount of the charge has been calculated on the basis of the estimated cost to Council to acquire and maintain land for these purposes. Revenue raised from this charge will be used to fund either all or part of the costs associated with the acquisition and maintenance of parcels of land for these purposes.

Environmental Levy

A separate charge will be levied equally on all rateable land within the region for the purposes of implementation of the Toowoomba Regional Council Waste Management Strategic Plan which includes consolidation, rationalisation and improvements to Council’s waste management facilities and rehabilitation of closed landfill sites. The amount of the charge has been calculated on the basis of the estimated cost to Council to implement the strategy. Revenue raised from this charge will be used to fund either all or part of the costs associated with Council’s implementation of this Plan.

 Natural Resource Management Levy

A separate charge will be levied equally on all rateable land within the region for the purposes of implementing a natural resource management strategy (incorporating issues such as weed eradication, feral animal control, coordination and liaison with Landcare groups and similar bodies and general natural resource management education and information delivery). The amount of the charge has been calculated on the basis of the estimated cost to implement the strategy. Revenue raised from this charge will be used to fund either all or part of the costs associated with Council’s implementation of this strategy.

Special charges are for services, facilities and activities that have a special association with particular land.

Rural Fire Equipment Levy

Pursuant to section 94 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 and section 128A of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, Council will levy a special charge (to be known as the “Rural Fire Equipment Levy”) on all rateable land within the region that also attracts a Class E Emergency Management Levy (pursuant to Part 3 of the Fire and Emergency Services Regulation 2011), to fund the ongoing provision and maintenance of rural fire fighting equipment and buildings for the rural fire brigades that operate throughout the rural areas of the region.

Utility charges are for a service, facility or activity for water, sewerage and waste management.

Water Charges

Water charges are determined, collected and used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning, water demand management and constructing water infrastructure (including interest and redemption charges incurred by Council) and the cost of operating, maintaining and managing the water supply system.

The charges apply to all ratepayers who have access or may have access to Council’s water supply infrastructure and, with limited exceptions, comprise –

  • An annual access charge
  • A charge for each kilolitre consumed which increases for higher levels of consumption.

A base access charge is also applied to each property within the water area that is not connected to the Council’s reticulated water supply system. Council believes that it is logical and equitable for all ratepayers who have access or may have access to Council’s water supply infrastructure to contribute to the fixed costs of the water supply operation by way of the access charge.

Bulk water charges are negotiated by agreement with individual consumers.

Sewerage Charges

Sewerage charges apply to all properties that are contained either wholly or partly within the declared sewered area or outside the declared sewered area but connected or may be connected to Council’s sewerage system. Revenue from these charges is used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning and constructing sewerage infrastructure (including interest and redemption charges incurred by Council) and the cost of operating, maintaining and managing the sewerage system. The charge is set so as to recover these costs. A charge is applied to each W.C. pedestal installed on each property (exceptions apply).

Waste Management Charges

Waste management charges are determined on a user pays basis and collected and used for the purpose of covering the cost of supplying a waste management service for the removal and disposal of waste. The charges are set so as to recover waste management costs including:

  • Waste service administration
  • Waste facility operation
  • Waste minimisation and reduction education
  • Post closure of waste facilities

The waste management services provided include –

  • Residential - waste collection.
  • Residential - recycling collection.
  • Residential - greenwaste collection.
  • Commercial - waste collection.
  • Commercial - recycling collection.
  • Commercial - greenwaste collection.

Integrated in the provision of waste management services is a recycling program. In respect to domestic waste, a waste management utility charge is applied per tenement where a normal waste collection service and recycling collection service is not applied per tenement due to sharing of services such as bulk waste bin services. “Tenement” includes any premises used as a separate domicile such as, for example -

  • a single unit private dwelling or
  • premises containing 2 or more flats, apartments or other dwelling units, each used as a separate domicile or
  • a boarding house, hostel, lodging house, or guest house.

In respect to rural properties not receiving any waste collection service from Council, a waste management facility charge will be applied where waste is generated or is capable of being generated from rural properties with a domestic component.

Trade Waste Charges

Revenue from these charges is used for the purpose of recovering the additional costs of operating, maintaining and managing the sewerage system, resulting from acceptance of waste from commercial and industrial premises which has an organic strength greater than that of domestic sewerage and which may also contain a variety of exotic substances such as heavy metals, organic solvents, and chlorinated organics which sewerage treatment systems are not designed to treat. 

The Queensland Government has amended the Fire and Rescue Act 1990, requiring Councils to levy and collect, on its behalf, an Emergency Management Levy. This levy replaces the State Urban Fire Levy and has been extended to include all properties in Queensland.

The levy is to provide a more sustainable funding base for emergency services, recognising that all Queenslanders are at risk from possible floods, cyclones, storms, fires and accidents. It will be used by local Rural Fire Groups to fund activities within our region. The levy is based on property use, the structures on the property and the fire and rescue capability in the area.

Please contact Queensland Fire and Emergency Services on 137 468 for more information regarding the levy.

Should you disagree with the classification of your property please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 131 872.

Related links

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