To provide assets and services for our community, Council must raise sufficient funds, by way of rates, charges, grants, fees, loans and contributions. Whilst Tweed Shire Council receives money from other sources such as grants, fees, loans and contributions, a large portion of Councils funds comes from rates.
This enables Council to provide the many general community services and facilities including local roads, libraries, sporting facilities, parks and gardens while the funds raised by charges for water, sewer and waste charges are spent on providing and maintaining those specific services.
Tweed Shire Council is governed by the NSW Local Government Act 1993, which sets the framework that allows Council to set its rates. Council rates are a form of property taxation, and property values play an important part in determining how much each individual ratepayer contributes to the ordinary rate. As it is a system of taxation, the rates paid may not directly relate to the services used by each ratepayer. Tweed Shire Council applies the "ad valorem" principle which means that the higher the value of the property the higher the amount is paid in the form of rates.
Around 50% of properties in Tweed Shire pay the minimum rate. There are around 90,000 people living in the Tweed on 38,800 rateable properties, of which 19,400 pay the minimum rate. Others pay more, with the amount levied linked to the land value provided by the Valuer Generals Office.
Access to services
The services provided by Council are equally accessible to everyone in the Tweed. It doesn’t matter if people live at Kunghur Creek or Kingscliff, they are still using (or able to use) the network of roads, libraries, facilities and other services and facilities mentioned below. It is also important to remember that it is not only property owners who contribute rates. People who are renting pay a component factored into their rent, so they also contribute their fair share.
You only pay for what is available
It is important to understand that residential amenities commonly provided in towns and villages, such as water supply, sewerage and waste disposal are paid for by the people who actually use that service,
or have the services available. They are each self funding functions that are not subsidised by ‘ordinary’ rates. So, if people live in a rural setting with no water supply, wastewater or waste collection services, they are not asked to contribute towards the operation of those services. All they pay is the basic, ordinary rate.
Your rates contribute to infrastructure, assets and services
Council provides and maintains more than $3 billion of assets, from roads, bridges, street lights, water, wastewater and waste management, to the parks, community buildings and amenities that enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. The Tweed's drainage system alone is valued at $167 million to replace.
When people get their rate notice they often forget that they are benefiting from millions of dollars worth of infrastructure, created over decades from rate contributions made by previous generations. And ratepayers are contributing for the now, but also to plan for future generations.
- Waste collection, recycling and street cleaning
- Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Water reservoirs, mains and supply network including pumping stations
- Wastewater pumping stations and mains
- Local roads, bridges, footpaths, kerb and guttering, signage and drainage maintenance and cycleways
- Parks, playgrounds, gardens, sports fields, aquatic facilities, skateparks and reserves
- Libraries and a range of community services (for elderly and youth)
- Community festivals arts and cultural assistance, and visitor information centre
- Town planning, landscaping, development applications / building inspections / construction certificates
- ranger services, including dog control
- strategic planning for the future
- food shop inspections
- environmental management
- noxious weeds eradication
- community facilities
- services to the aged and youth
- bus shelters
- traffic management
- 1079km of sealed roads, 164km of unsealed roads.
- 210km of footpaths, 790km of kerb and gutters.
- 5678 street lights.
- 208 concrete bridges, 35 wooden bridges.
- 99 car park areas.
- 376km of drainage, 10.4km of levee banks.
- 400 flood gates.
- Clarrie Hall Dam and two weirs.
- 3 water treatment plants and 8 wastewater treatment plants.
- 43 reservoirs.
- 28 water and 185 wastewater pump stations.
- 716km of water mains and 700km of sewer mains.
- 33 community buildings and three community centres.
- A regional art gallery and a regional museum.
- Three libraries and two civic centres.
- 37 sports fields.
- 378 parks, 82 playgrounds.
- 78 picnic areas with barbecues in 39 Council parks.
- 3 Aquatic Centres.
- Maintenance of public toilets, amenity blocks.
- 11 cemeteries.
- A public plant nursery.
Part of a network of Councils
We encourage residents to remember that your rates contribute to services beyond what is provided and used locally. Tweed forms part of a network of Councils throughout New South Wales and Australia. So when someone from the Tweed goes to look at the gardens at Toowoomba, or use a public toilet at Gold Coast, you don't pay rates in those local government areas. Similarly, people visit the Tweed, walk in our parks, use our roads, our toilets, our footpaths and other public amenities at no cost.