Annual rates and charges for residential properties in the Somerset compare favourably with similarly serviced properties in other local government areas, particularly in south east Queensland. The Department of Local Government site contains a useful list of comparative statistics between all Queensland Councils on rates, debt levels and other matters. Somerset can be found in the "Rural Agricultural Very Large" group of Councils.
These State Government residential rate statistics do not include State Fire levies and are generally averages.
Somerset is a great place to live.
Before purchasing a property in Somerset (or elsewhere), it is strongly recommended that you obtain a Council property search to see full details of exactly what it is that you are buying.
You should ask your solicitor or conveyancer for a copy of this and other search results. You may wish to make your contract subject to search results that are "satisfactory to you" or similar wording. Please seek legal advice on these matters.
Please do not make the mistake of buying any property that you cannot afford to maintain, including payment of rates and charges.
When are Rates Payable?
Council levies rates and charges half yearly generally in the months of February and August.
Council offers a 15% discount off general rates and garbage charges and has a 6 week period in which to pay rates. It is very important that ratepayers do not risk their discounts by leaving payment until it is too late. If you are posting your rates payment, please ensure sufficient time to allow for any potential postal delays.
General rates help cover the cost of providing and maintaining roads, streets, footpaths and trails, bridges, drainage, parks, playing fields, skate parks, cemeteries, libraries, swimming pools, halls, playgrounds, public dumping facilities, street lighting, public toilets, noxious weed and pest control, health and building control, economic development and Shire planning services, tourism promotion services, community group financial assistance, disaster management, youth development, Queensland Government and Centrelink agencies, television relay services and many other services and facilities.
Council's general rates are calculated in the same way as other Councils throughout Queensland under the Local Government Act 2009. The formula is:
Unimproved capital valuation (issued by the State Government)
Rate in the dollar (set by Council (see below)
subject to a minimum charge (set by Council and varying depending upon what the land is used for and its services).
Councils throughout Queensland are required by the Local Government Act 2009 to use the valuation amounts (which are an unimproved value) as a basis for calculating general rates.
Should you wish to object to your valuation, or have any query regarding the land valuation, its calculation or land use, please contact:
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
PO Box 864
Ipswich QLD 4305
or by telephone to the district valuer on (07) 3894 8100.
State Pensioner Rate Subsidy
For owner/resident pensioners, the State Government offers a 20% subsidy on gross rates up to a maximum of $200 per year.
Somerset is proving to be a popular retirement choice and destination for pensioners, who are taking advantage of the rate subsidy offer in large numbers.
Council administers the subsidy scheme within the Somerset under rules and regulations set down by the Queensland Government. New applicants to the scheme must have a current Pensioner Concession Card and can contact Council for further information and assistance.
- Are you a pensioner?
- Are you the holder of a Pensioner Concession Card?
- Is the property recorded in your name as owner?
- Is it your principal place of residence?
If you can answer 'yes' to ALL of the above, you may be entitled to a State Government Pensioner Rate Subsidy. To receive the subsidy you need to make application to Council by completing a 'Pensioner Subsidy' application form (available at Council offices at the time of presenting your concession card) and have your Pensioner Concession Card sighted at the Esk Administration Centre, the Kilcoy or Lowood Customer Service Centres.
If you are currently receiving the subsidy on your rates, there is no need for you to reapply for future rate notices provided the regular checks performed by Council with Centrelink/Department of Veteran's Affairs confirm ongoing eligibility. The pensioner must advise Council if their circumstances change.
Cleansing charges (garbage charges)
Cleansing charges cover the costs of Council providing the use of a wheelie bin, collecting your rubbish from your front gate and taking it away to a licensed waste facility.
Council is required to operate its landfill in accordance with strict State Government environmental regulations that safeguard public health and protect the environment. These regulations make landfills expensive to operate and construct.
Cleansing charges generally apply to all habitable properties that are on a garbage truck service route.
Emergency Management Levy
Under state legislation Council is required to raise this levy for the State Government on its rate notices. The levy is based on the cost of providing all Queenslanders with Emergency Management, Fire and Rescue Services. If you require further information on this levy please contact Queensland Fire and Emergency Services on 13 74 68 or visit their website www.qfes.qld.gov.au
Rural Fire Levy
The rural fire levy is a rate of the Somerset Regional Council. The entire levy is passed on to local volunteer rural fire brigades.
State Emergency Service (SES) levy
Council provides funding for local SES groups and SES cadets through an SES levy on each rate notice.
The money is spent on vehicle and boat costs, phones and communications, SES bases, an SES coordinator and other costs.
Like the rural fire brigades, SES members are dedicated volunteers who do a terrific job. Please support them.
Council is actively working with a number of groups to improve our local environment and in particular control weeds. These activities are partly funded through an environmental levy on each rate notice.
Details about payment methods can be found here.
HAVE YOU MOVED RECENTLY?
To ensure the prompt receipt of your rates notice and to avoid missing out on your discount, please keep Council informed about your current postal address. You can do this by phone or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.