If you own a home or business in Australia you must pay rates to your local council. The cost is based on the value of your land and the category of your property. Land values across New South Wales (NSW) are usually assessed every 3 years by the Valuer General's Office.
The 2013/14 residential rates charge is 0.001623 cents in the dollar (minimum is $503.20).
Council rates are exempt from GST.
Waste services charge
As well as paying rates, residential property owners pay a charge for waste services, including clean-ups and recycling. The cost of your waste service is high and can't be absorbed by ordinary rates charges. The price you pay for these services is clearly marked on your rate notice (under "Domestic Waste Management Charge"). The charge is also exempt from GST.
Property owners are also required to pay a Stormwater Management Service Charge that contributes to the cost of providing new or additional stormwater management services across the City of Sydney.
Stormwater management methods help control the quantity and quality of run-off that flows from our streets, gutters, canals, waterways and creeks into Sydney Harbour and the Cooks River. One method involves re-using stormwater instead of valuable drinking water.
The charge for residential landowners is $25 per year while strata unit and company-titled property owners pay $12.50. Certain land may be exempt from the charge, such as Crown land, vacant land containing no impervious surfaces, and land belonging to charities and public benevolent institutions.
For more information on rates, waste and stormwater charges, contact us on 02 9265 9333.
Due dates for rates
Rates are paid every year and you can pay yours in full or by quarterly instalments. If you are paying in full, your rates are due on or before 31 August each financial year. The due dates for quarterly instalments are:
1st instalment - 31 August
2nd instalment - 30 November
3rd instalment - 28 February
4th instalment - 31 May
- The due dates and amounts of each quarterly instalment appear on your rate notice.
- We send notices 30 days before your second, third and fourth instalments are due.
- If you’re paying quarterly and decide to pay your rates in full instead, you can do so at any time.
Interest charges on late payments
If you don’t pay your rates on or before the due date, interest (calculated daily) will be charged on the amount owing. Interest is payable under NSW law; the rate charged is approved by the Minister for Local Government.
The current interest rate – displayed on the front of your rate notice – is 9% per annum (for the 2013/14 financial year). The City of Sydney may take legal action to recover unpaid rates and charge the cost of the action to the ratepayer.
If you are having difficulty paying, contact us or download and complete the financial hardship application form below.
How your rates are spent
The City of Sydney uses rates to pay for essential services, including:
- public health (for example, checking hygiene standards at restaurants)
- fire safety and other building standards
- waste and recycling collections, street cleaning and pollution control
- traffic management (including putting up signs, controlling traffic movement through Central Sydney) and road maintenance
- Development Applications
- pest control and animal services (collecting stray dogs, registering household pets)
- street lights, bus shelters, footpaths and seats
- parking stations, parking areas and policing illegal parking
- parks, swimming pools, sports fields and other recreation facilities
- libraries and community facilities
- employment initiatives.
Our Sustainable Sydney 2030 goals are reflected in each service and initiative we provide. We are making Sydney a green, global and connected city – sustainable in every sense.
- Green with a minimal environmental impact
- Global with a thriving economy and world-class facilities and services
- Connected by integrated transport and a sense of community.
Last updated: Sunday, 30 June 2013