Rates, Payments & Fees
- Written by Adam Gatt Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
Important information about rates notices for 2020-21
The due date for the first instalment of your council rates for 2020-21 has been extended to 30 September. Because of this, your rates notice has been sent around one month later than in previous years.
Please note that the issue date on your notice is 15 July 2020, the date we downloaded the rates information ahead of printing the notices. If you have made a payment since 15 July 2020 you can deduct your payment amount from the amount showing to calculate how much you need to pay.
If you are unable to pay by the due date, the message from Council is “please don’t worry”.
While Council has legal obligations to levy and collect rates, we can offer interest-free payment arrangements and extensions if you have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Rates Team will continue to treat everyone experiencing financial hardship with compassion and we encourage you to get in touch so we can understand your individual situation. You can contact us by:
Telephone: (02) 4732 7676
Overview of rates
Council plays an essential role in keeping the City running and takes that responsibility seriously. We are obligated to plan responsibly and maintain robust business continuity plans to ensure our City keeps operating and residents continue to receive core services.
Council is legally required to levy rates (under the Local Government Act 1993). Rates income is vital for the delivery of these important community services, future planning and infrastructure maintenance and development.
Pay online by Credit Card
Online Credit Card payments can be made by BPay using your internet banking. Quote biller code 10090 and the Bpay reference number on your Rates Notice next to the Bpay logo.
If you are overseas or using an overseas issued credit card, online Credit Card payments can be made using Australia Post Billpay at postbillpay.com.au. Quote the Post Billpay code 0253 and your Reference Number (including the leading zero) next to the Australia Post logo on the bottom of your notice.
Contact our rates team on 4732 7676 if you have any concerns.
See Other Payment Options below for further ways to pay.
Register to receive your Rates & Instalment Notices by email
To register you will need a recent rates or instalment notice to enter some security information for verification purposes.
Please note that the registration process is managed by our Service Provider – Print Mail Logistics (PML) and you will be directed to a secure site managed by this Service Provider.
When you register for this service you will no longer receive paper copies of your notices in the mail. It is important that you still update your postal address details as some other important correspondence from Council may still be sent in the mail.
If you have previously registered but you want to change your email address, click on the registration link and re-register with your new email address. This will cancel your old email registration and you will receive future notices to your new email address.
If you wish to cancel your existing email registration permanently, click on the registration link and select “Cancel email delivery”, enter your email address and account number, tick the required fields and click “Deregister”. If you cancel your registration, future notices will be issued by mail. Please let Council know if you have changed your postal address.
Register to receive your Rates & Instalment Notices by BPay View
You can register to receive your Rates and Instalment Notices directly to your internet banking through BPay View.
To register you simply need to log into your internet banking, select "Register for BPay View", enter your BPay View Registration Number from the bottom of your Notice and click register.
Once registered your bank will send you a message each time we send you a notice. From there you can view and store your notices, make a payment and set up automatic payments all within your internet banking.
When you register for this service you will no longer receive paper copies of your notices in the mail. It is important that you still update your postal address details if required as some other important correspondence from Council may still be sent in the mail. For more information speak to your internet banking provider or contact Council’s Rates Enquiries on 02 4732 7676.
Pay by direct debit
You can arrange to pay your rates by direct debit from your bank, building society or credit union account (but not your credit card) on an annual or quarterly basis. Fill in the Direct Debit Request form (pdf 206.0KB) - please be sure to read the Direct Debit Agreement on the form carefully.
Direct Debit from Credit Card is not offered by Council, however you can set up scheduled Credit Card payments (including weekly, fortnightly, monthly or set dates) by BPay using internet banking. Quote biller code 10090 and the BPay reference number from your rates notice next to the Bpay logo.
Other payment options
Other options available include BPay, in-person payments at Australia Post and Council Offices, and telephone payments using Australia Post Billpay. See your rates notice for details of these payment options.
If you are a pensioner, you may be eligible for a pensioner concession on your rates. Please call us on 4732 7676 to apply over the telephone or if you have a query about pensioner concessions. See the Rates FAQ section below for more information.
Hardship provisions related to COVID-19
Apply for an s603 certificate online setting out any outstanding rates and charges on a property for sale.
Rates FAQs and more information
Council is legally required to levy rates (under the Local Government Act 1993). Rates income is vital for the delivery of a wide range of services which benefit the community. This includes managing and maintaining infrastructure such as local roads, libraries, sports complexes, sporting grounds, childcare centres, parks, playgrounds and street lighting. Council also provides services such as planning and development assessment, waste collection and economic development.
The rates for each category for the 2020-21 financial year are:
|Rate Category||2020-21 Rate to be multiplied by the 1 July 2019 land value||2020-21 Minimum rate applies if land value is below||2020-21 Minimum Rate|
|Business - Penrith CBD||0.00734112||188,146||1,381.2|
|Business - St Marys Town Centre||0.00788458||175,177||1,381.2|
Council rates are exempt from GST (goods and services tax).
Councils can choose how they calculate and distribute rates among categories of rateable properties in the council area – see the Office of Local Government website for details. For each category or subcategory, rates can be calculated in one of three ways. They can be based:
They can be based:
Option 1 - entirely on the land value of the property (known as an ad valorem rate)
Option 2 - on a combination of the land value of the property and a fixed amount per property (known as a base rate plus ad valorem rate)
Option 3 - entirely on the land value, but subject to a minimum amount for land values under a certain threshold (known as ad valorem with minimum rate).
Council continues to evaluate the impact of rates and seeks to ensure the system we use to calculate rates is the most equitable for the whole LGA. The total amount of rates collected by Council remains the same regardless of changes to land values; it’s the rating structure chosen that determines how rates are shared across all property owners
Council uses Option 3 as we believe this to be the most equitable for the whole LGA; where property owners are asked to pay their share based on their individual property value, not asked to pay more to off-set the rates costs for high value properties in the LGA, which would be the case if other rates methods were applied.
How much each owner pays depends on the rating category for their property and the value of their land.
Council is required to categorise each parcel of land for rating purposes according to their dominant use: Residential, Farmland, Business or Mining. Penrith Council also has 2 Business sub-categories for the Penrith CBD area and the St Marys Town Centre. The rates in order of lowest to highest by category/sub-category are Farmland, Residential, Business, Business - Penrith CBD, and Business – St Marys Town Centre.
If you believe your rating category is incorrect, you can ask us to review your category at any time. If you disagree with Council’s determination after the review, you may appeal to the Land and Environment Court under Section 526(1) of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 within 30 days of the declaration.
If your rating category changes, you must advise Council within 30 days.
- RESIDENTIAL - dominant use as residential accommodation or for vacant land the land is zoned for residential purposes.
- BUSINESS – where the dominant use is for commercial or industrial use, or cannot be categorised in one of the other three categories
- FARMLAND – dominant use is for a significant and substantial farming business which is engaged in for the purpose of profit and is continuous or repetitive. Categorisation is subject to an approval process where owners must demonstrate the significance of the farming activity.
- MINING – where the owner has rights to mine coal or metals from land (there are presently no mining properties in Penrith City).
The rate set for each rating category is multiplied by the unimproved land value to determine how much rates each property owner will pay, subject to minimum amounts for each category.
The independent land values are provided by NSW Valuation Services and are generally updated every three years so each valuation is used by Council for three years until the next valuation is received.The Valuer General had released new property values that will be applied to rates from July 2020. Find more information about this here.
If you disagree with your land value there are avenues available to you to object. Residents should contact the NSW Valuation Services on 1800 110 038 for more information. If the land value is reduced due to your objection, Council will reduce the amount of rates you have to pay. You still need to pay any rates that fall due while your value is being reviewed
Council’s rates income doesn’t increase because of land valuation increasing, so for example if land values increase by 20% the rates income will not increase by 20%. In cases where the values increase significantly, the “rate” charged will reduce from the previous year so that when the new rate is multiplied by the new land values, the rates income does not go over what is allowed to be raised.
In the first financial year new valuations are used for rates, there may be some fluctuations in the amount of rates you pay, depending on how your valuation has changed in comparison to other properties within our Local Government Area. If your property has increased by a greater percentage than other properties, your increase will be greater. If your value has increased by lower than the average increase of other properties, your rates increase may be less significant or your rates can even reduce from the previous year. For the remaining two years the valuation is used, your rates will increase by around the general increase for that year, unless Council changes the way that rates are assessed.
The Valuer General provides a fact sheet to assist property owners with understanding land values. You can view their Fact Sheet on their website here: Land values and council rates
COVID-19 update: Council’s advocacy for use of new valuations to be deferred
At the Ordinary Meeting on Monday 22 June, Council resolved to seek approval from the NSW Government to defer the use of new 2019 land valuations in an attempt to stop significant rate increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.Unfortunately, despite our representations, Council was informed our request was unable to be supported, as a deferral of use of the land valuations is not allowed under the NSW Valuation of Land Act 1916 legislation.
Each year the NSW State Government through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approves a maximum percentage increase in the total income a council can receive from rates (known as rate pegging), thereby limiting the amount of income a council can charge for rates each year.
The rate peg applies to Council’s total allowable rates income and not to each individual property owner’s rates, so an individual ratepayer’s actual increase may be above this amount, particularly if there are new valuations in use for the first time or if Council is required to catch up rates lost in previous years due to valuation objections.
Councils can apply to IPART for a special variation from this rate pegging increase (known as a Special Rate Variation or SRV). These SRV applications are assessed against criteria listed in the Office of Local Government’s Guidelines. These include undertaking long term financial planning, ensuring community awareness of the need and extent of the proposed increase in rates, and consideration of the impact on ratepayers. In addition, councils must meet criteria related to productivity improvements.
For the financial year 2020-21, Penrith City Council will be using the rate-peg amount of 2.6%.
In addition to council rates, urban property owners must also pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that contributes to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater services across the local area.
The yearly charge for residential landowners is $25 while strata unit owners pay $12.50. Business properties pay $22.80 plus an additional $22.80 for each 350m2 or part of 350m2 by which the area exceeds 350 m2. Certain land may be exempt from the charge, such as Crown land, rural land, vacant land containing no impervious surfaces, and land belonging to charities and public benevolent institutions. Eligible pensioners are also exempt from this charge.
Residential property owners are also required to pay an annual domestic waste service charge. See the Domestic Waste Services page for more information about the different options available.
If you own a property and hold a Pensioner Concession Card from Centrelink or the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) or are on a TPI, EDA or War Widow payment with the DVA you may be entitled to a Pensioner Rebate. You can apply for a rebate over the phone by contacting Council on 4732 7676. Please have your Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Card with you when you call.
You can also come in to either of our offices and apply over the counter. Please have your Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Card with you.
The maximum rebate is $250 per financial year plus an exemption from the stormwater charge for urban owners that are subject to the charge. The rebate will be apportioned according to the pensioner’s ownership of the property. If a pensioner owns the property solely or only with their spouse (who may or may not be a pensioner also), they will receive the full rebate. If a pensioner only owns part of the property they will receive a rebate according to their share (eg if you own 50% of the property you will receive 50% of the maximum rebate ($125) plus 50% of the stormwater rebate ($12.50/$6.25 Strata).
The property must be the principal place of residence for a pension rebate to be granted.
A rebate will commence from the instalment after the eligibility commences. Council will back-date an application to 1 July prior to the application if they were eligible at that time.
If a person’s eligibility for a pension rebate ceases during their ownership, the rebate will be ended from the 1st day of the next instalment period after the entitlement ceases and the rates will be adjusted.
Rates and Charges are levied annually and can be paid in full or by quarterly instalments.
If you are paying the annual amount in full, the payment must be made by the due date for the first instalment, otherwise you must at least pay the instalment amounts by each due date.
The due dates for quarterly instalments are:
- 1st instalment - 31 August (extended to 30 September in 2020 due to Covid-19)
- 2nd instalment - 30 November
- 3rd instalment - 28 February
- 4th instalment - 31 May
For the 1st instalment Council will send you an Annual Rates & Charges Notice which will show you all instalment amounts for the financial year (1 July to 30 June).
For the other instalments if you only pay the instalment amount, Council will send you an Instalment Notice at least one month before each payment is due.
If you have recently purchased a new property or if you change your domestic waste service during the year and some instalment due dates have passed (or if the notice is issued within 30 days of an instalment due date), you may receive a Rates & Charges Notice which may not have four instalment payments. For these notices, the amounts levied are split over future instalment due dates in the same financial year. In this case, you will revert back to four instalments the next financial year.
For your convenience a number of payment options are available. Details are provided on the second page of your Notice.
Internet payments by Credit Card are available by following the instructions under the Pay online heading at the top of this page.
Telephone Payments by Credit Card are available through Australia Post BillPay by calling 13 18 16. Quote the Post Billpay Code 0253 and Post Billpay reference number on the front of your notice along with your Visa or MasterCard details.
You can pay your annual or quarterly rates through direct debit from your bank, building society or credit union account (but not your credit card). To ensure your payment is processed in time, you need to return the Direct Debit Request form (pdf 206.KB), at least 7 days before the due date. To cancel, suspend a payment or amend your direct debit you need contact Council’s Rates Enquiries on 4732 7676. If you are selling your property you are still required to cancel your direct debit.
If funds are not available in your nominated account to pay your rates on the due date, Penrith City Council will charge a dishonour fee and your direct debit will be cancelled.
Direct Debit from Credit Card is not offered by Council, however you can set up scheduled Credit Card payments by BPay (including weekly, fortnightly, monthly or set dates) using your internet banking. Quote biller code 10090 and the BPay reference number from your rates notice next to the Bpay logo.
If the amount due is not paid on or before the due date, interest will be charged on any amount owing. The interest rate is set annually by the Office of Local Government. The interest rate for 2020-21 is 0% per annum from 1/7/20 to 31/12/20 and 7% per annum from 1/1/21 to 30/6/21, charged daily.
Penrith City Council will endeavour to send reminder notices to owners if the rates become overdue but due to increasing postage and printing costs, it is appreciated if you could advise Council if you are unable to pay the instalment amount by the due date so we can hold off sending the reminder.
If you need extra time to pay please contact Council to discuss your situation and make alternative arrangements. It is best that you contact us as soon as possible before the rates are due. Usual arrangements include an extension of time to a certain date or a regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment.
You can contact Council to make an arrangement by:
Telephone: Council’s Rates Enquiries on 4732 7676
If you are emailing Council to organise a payment arrangement, please include in your email:
- Your name: and
- Your account number from your rates notice; and
- Your property address; and
- Your mobile number; and
- A brief explanation of your circumstances; and
- A date you can make full payment; or
- If you can pay part payments how much you can pay, whether you can pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and the date of your next payment; or
- If you can’t make any payments a date by which you will be able to contact us again to review your account.
Once we receive your email Council will review your situation and send confirmation of your payment arrangement or account extension within 7 days.
Where an account is overdue for an extended period of time, Penrith City Council may take legal action to enforce and recover the overdue amount, which will incur additional costs payable by the property owner. Such action may also affect the owner’s credit file.
If you have received a legal notice from Council, it is important to contact Council’s Rates Enquiries on 02 4732 7676 immediately to discuss an alternative payment arrangement to avoid this legal action taking place. If you are facing financial hardship, Council by arrangement can allow you time to deal with your situation, but we are unable to remove any additional costs or remove details from your credit file if you do not inform us before the action has commenced.
If you are registered to receive your rates notice by email it is important that you still update your postal address details as some other important correspondence from Council may still be sent in the mail.
If you own land which has been rezoned, you may be able to postpone part of your rates if your land is:
- Residential land which contains a single occupied dwelling which is zoned for residential or commercial use or subdivision
- Rural land which is zoned for a use other than rural land or if subdivision is permitted which will allow a lot of less than 40 hectares.
Postponing your rates will result in you paying less rates until you sell or develop the land when you must pay the postponed amount (including some postponed interest charges).
This provision is usually used for “asset rich and cash poor” owners who choose to continue to use and occupy their land after the land has been rezoned but can’t afford the high holding costs that come about due to increases in the land values. By postponing your rates, you can pay the postponed rates when you realise the value of the land when it is sold or developed. Where the land is held for longer than 5 years, some of the postponed rates are written off by Council so at any time you are only liable to pay a maximum of 5 years postponed rates and interest. This is particularly beneficial if you intend to hold the land for longer than 5 years.
To assess how much you will need to pay, the land is given two values, with one being the value of the land if it were only zoned for residential or rural use, and the full land value according to its zoned uses. Council will postpone the rates differences between the values and you will only need to pay the rates on the lower value. After 5 years and each year after that, unless the land has been vacated or developed, Council writes off one year of the postponed rates from 5 years prior so at any time you are only liable to pay a maximum of 5 years of postponed rates when the land is developed or sold.
You should seek your own independent advice to see if this suits your circumstances before making any decision.
If you believe that you may be eligible and wish to discuss your situation, please contact Council on 4732 7676.
Under Section 608 of the Local Government Act 1993 Council may charge and recover an approved fee for any service it provides. Council discloses its pricing policy by showing a pricing code against each individual fee within the schedule of Fees & Charges. Council’s current pricing policy is outlined and available for download here. Council Fees and Charges 2020-2021
For more information about rates, call 4732 7676.