Rates explained

We collect rates from residents and businesses to help fund our infrastructure and services.

Most land is subject to rates, and most people pay rates in the residential category.

Council must levy rates and charges under the Local Government Act 1993.

Land value Why do I pay rates? How rates are calculated Postponed and exempt rates Cost shifting

Land valuations and the impact on rates

Council does not collect any more or less in rates following property revaluations.

Find out more about land valuations and watch the video below to learn how rates are calculated.


Land value and categories

To find out how your land value affects your rates see land valuations.

Which land category is my property?

The category of your property is shown on your rates notice.

There are four categories of rateable land: residential, farmland, business and mining. (There are currently no properties in the mining category in the Tweed.)

In broad terms, properties are categorised for rating according to their use (or when there is no use, according to zoning).

In the Tweed, if a property is not residential or farmland it will be categorised as business. These categories do not change zoning or create subdivision entitlements.

How are land categories defined?

Land categories are defined by Section 493 of the Local Government Act 1993 NSW:

How do I have my land category reviewed?

At any time a ratepayer can apply to Council to have a land category and sub-category reviewed. Complete one of the following re-categorisation forms:

How can I appeal my land category?

Following a review, you can appeal if you are dissatisfied with either:

  • Council's category of your land
  • the date your land category takes effect.

You can appeal to the Land and Environmental Court within 30 days of a Council declaration of land category (under Section 526 of the Local Government Act 1993).

Change of land use

The ratepayer must notify Council within 30 days when land use (land category) changes for a property.

Why do I have to pay Council rates?

Rates are Council’s main source of income.

Your rates go towards community services local roads, libraries, sports facilities, parks and gardens. Find out how your rates are spent.

Funds raised by water, sewer and waste charges are spent on those services. See water use and billing.

Read this year's Council Matters for information about your rates and how your rates money is spent.

Council Matters, July 2023

View the interactive version below or you can download the Council Matters 2023 - Annual summary(PDF, 2MB)

How rates are calculated

Council takes the total revenue to be collected from all rateable properties, and divides it by the total value of all properties in the Tweed. This is called the rate in the dollar.

The rate in the dollar is multiplied by the unimproved capital value of each property to make sure each ratepayer pays a fair share.

Depending on your land value, your rates may be calculated using the minimum rate or the rate in the dollar.

Council does not receive more money when land values rise.

The only ways Council can increase its General Rate income is through a:

Service charges are also included in your annual rates notice, including water and sewerage access charges.

Tweed ratepayers are charged separately for water use.

Rate in the dollar

Council sets the rate in the dollar each financial year.

For 2023-2024 these are:

  • Residential 0.2549 cents per $ of land value
  • Business 0.3031 cents per $ of land value
  • Farmland 0.1770 cents per $ of land value.

To find the rate amount, the rate in the dollar is multiplied by the unimproved land value for each category.

Minimum rate

Each year Council sets a minimum amount for rates, a fair and reasonable contribution towards Council services.

The 2023-2024 financial year minimum rate amounts are:

  • Residential $1,166.70
  • Business $1,282.45
  • Farmland $1,166.70.

Rates are calculated by multiplying the rate in the dollar by your unimproved land value. You are charged this amount, or the minimum rate (whichever is greatest).

Rates calculation 2023-2024 - example only

Unimproved land value = LV

Rate in the dollar = RD

Rates (residential) with land value $350,000
Rate in the dollar calculation (LV X RD) $350,000 x 0.002549 = $892.15
Minimum rate for residential = $1,166.70
Minimum rate applies = $1,166.70

Rates (residential) with land value $480,000
Rate in the dollar calculation (LV X RD) $480,000 x 0.002549 = $1,223.52
Minimum rate for residential = $1,166.70
Rate-in-the-dollar rate applies = $1,223.52

Special rates

Some residents pay a 'special' rate, such as residents of Koala Beach Estate. See rates charges.

Postponed and exempt rates

Owners of rateable land can apply to postpone rates in the current or following rating year (or in both years) if the land meets requirements in Section 585 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Postponed rates attract interest for up to 5 years (for a maximum of 5 years).

To find out about postponed rates call 02 6670 2400.

What land is exempt from rates?

Land exempt from rates includes:

  • churches
  • schools
  • public land
  • hospitals
  • land owned and used by public charities.

See Section 555 of the Local Government Act 1993.

To apply to have your property exempt from rates call 02 6670 2400.

Annual cost shifting report

Cost shifting refers to when higher levels of government transfer financial responsibilities onto lower tiers, like local councils, without providing adequate funding.

This can cause challenges for councils in maintaining essential services, due to the increasing burden of cost shifting from the state government and the constraints of rate pegging.

According to the latest report by Local Government NSW (LGNSW), councils shouldered an additional $1.36 billion in expenses for the 2021/2022 financial year, averaging $460.67 per ratepayer statewide.

Council is requesting urgent action from the NSW Government to address cost shifting - through regulatory reform and fair funding allocations – to ensure the sustainability of local government operations and the well-being of our communities.

For a comprehensive understanding of this issue, including access to the Cost Shifting 2023 Report - "How State Costs Eat Council Rates", visit the LGNSW website.