Reporting to Council

23 Mar 2021

How are rates charged now?

At present, rates are still being charged three different ways with the former Warringah Council area contributing a higher income percentage as a proportion of land values, followed by the former Pittwater Council area and then the former Manly Council area.

What needs to change?

We need to harmonise rates so ratepayers with the same land value within each category or sub-category pay the same for the same level of council service. As can be seen from the above chart, ratepayers in the former Manly area are currently paying lower rates than the Northern Beaches Council average per $100,000 of land value. While residents within the former Warringah area are paying more than the average and residents in the former Pittwater area are paying close to the average.

We are not seeking to raise more funds as a result of harmonisation but apply a consistent, fair and equitable rating system across the whole council area.

Over the last six months we have done extensive modelling to find the harmonisation model that balances the outcomes for all ratepayers and limits any sudden, unexpected impacts for the majority of ratepayers.

Four options were extensively modelled using the minimum rates used by the three former council areas as well as a model using a weighted average minimum rate (Scenario 4).

These tables show the estimated changes to Manly ratepayers under Scenario 4 without gradual harmonisation (these estimates exclude the annual rate peg adjustment and any impacts of land valuation changes).

Scenario 4 introduces a new minimum rate for all Northern Beaches properties, based on the weighted average of the former council areas minimum rates.

This model delivers 76% of residential ratepayers a decrease in their rates.

For those in the former Manly area who have been paying lower rates since council amalgamation, all models result in an increase to ad valorem rates as part of this process.

To minimise this impact we have successfully advocated to the NSW Government for a change to legislation which will allow us to gradually implement harmonisation over four years for ad valorem ratepayers.

As an additional support for COVID recovery, we are proposing no harmonisation changes until 2022/23. The gradual harmonisation of rates and our ability to not apply any changes until 2022/23 are subject to the passing of proposed legislation by the State Government as well as the adoption of these changes by the elected Council.

It is worth noting that most former Manly ratepayers have seen a significant reduction in their rates notice since amalgamation due to a large reduction in their waste services charge – down from $660 in 2017 to $446 in 2021. Last financial year Manly paid less overall for their rates and charges than before amalgamation.

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Rates Harmonisation