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 area and then the former Manly 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 Pittwater area are currently paying rates close to the Northern Beaches Council average per $100,000 of land value, residents within the former Manly area are paying less than the average and residents in the former Warringah area are paying more than 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).
The comparison scenarios below show the estimated changes to Pittwater ratepayers without gradual harmonisation (these estimates exclude the annual rate peg adjustment and any impacts of land valuation changes).
Click the image to enlarge.
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 Pittwater area most ratepayers will see their rates decrease due this harmonisation process.
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-19 recovery, we are proposing no harmonisation changes until 2022/23.
This would mean that your change would also be applied across a number of years and will not commence
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 Pittwater ratepayers have seen a significant reduction in their rates notice since amalgamation due to a large reduction in the waste services charge – down from $598 in 2017 to $446 in 2021.
Land categorised as farmland
Within the rating structure of the former Pittwater area the minimum rate for the farmland category was the same as the minimum rate for the ordinary residential category. This enabled rating consistency between the farmland category and the ordinary residential category in terms of the demand and use of council services.
We are proposing that the minimum rate for this category will be the same as the minimum rate set for Northern Beaches Council residential category (plus the IPART rate peg as determined for the 2021/22 financial year).
This will not result in any additional income from the farmland category but may result in some minor changes in the rates levied on ratepayers on the minimum rate which will be offset by changes in the rates levied on ratepayers on an ad valorem basis.