Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Pay Council Rates?

Rates are a property-based tax levied by the local government. Their purpose is to support the council in providing services for the benefit of all residents. These services include road construction, maintenance to the foreshore, building and parks, library services, ranger services, waste management services, recreation facilities and health and community services.

Anyone owning residential, industrial or commercial property within the Town of Port Hedland is required to pay rates. In addition, land leased from Commonwealth, State or Local Government bodies or authorises is also subject to Local Government rates, which are payable by the lessee. Some government bodies, educational and registered charitable organisations may be exempt from paying Council rates.

How Are Rates Calculated?

Western Australian Local Governments each individually assess and determine the rate in the dollar in accordance with the council’s annual budget.

Rates are calculated using the following formula:

Rates = Rate in the Dollar ($) x Property Value
The property value is determined by the Government of Western Australia’s Valuer General.
For Example
Value of the property = $38,200
Rates in the Dollar ($) = 5.6920
Rates = $2174.34 

Rates on each property are subject to a minimum payment which is set each year by Council.

Differential General Rates - Why Are There Different Rates In The Dollar?

The formulation of a differential rating system is about achieving a means by which Council can raise sufficient revenue to pay for the services it provides. Throughout Australia, the basis of using property valuations has been found to be the most appropriate means of achieving rating equality; the Town of Port Hedland has elected to use differential rating, to ensure the most equitable form of rating is achieved.

Council can determine a different rate in the dollar ($) for different types of properties, depending on the types of activities or available land uses, and how they may impact on Council services. The Town of Port Hedland does not determine an individual rate in the dollar for individual properties.

Why a Minimum Payment?

The Town of Port Hedland imposes a general Minimum Payment each year for all ratable properties within the council. The Minimum Payment ensures that every property contributes to the works, services and facilities provided by the Council. When calculating rates for each property, if the rates generated is less than the minimum payment ($1260.00) then the property owner is charged the minimum payment.

Who Is The Valuer General?

The Valuer General is appointed by the State Government to determine the valuation of all properties within the State. The Valuer General determines valuations on either a GRV or UV basis.

If you believe the valuation applied to your property is incorrect, you can lodge an objection with the Valuer General Office within 60 days of the date of issue shown on your Rates Notice.

What Is GRV?

GRV or Gross Rental Value is the minimum gross rental payable for a property, compared to all other properties in the State, determined by the Valuer General. It should not be confused by a Market Rental, which can be significantly different. The valuation basis takes into account the location of the property, access to services and any improvements (houses, sheds etc) on the property. This valuation basis is generally used for properties within Township Boundaries, or for any approved non-rural property outside a Township boundary.

What Is UV?

UV or Unimproved Value is the unimproved land valued of the property, and doesn’t take into account improvements such as houses. It is generally used for properties outside Township boundaries.

Why Are Rates Different For Different Towns?

Different Councils can impose different rates in the dollar ($), therefore similar properties with same value may be rated differently depending on which Local Government District they are located in.

Why Do I Pay A Separate Rubbish Levy With My Rates?

The waste levy is separate service charge based on the type of waste collection assigned to your property as per the waste department’s recommendation ie weekly rubbish collection. It is the policy of the Town of Port Hedland that all residential rated properties are charged one annual bin collection fee.

Residential strata complexes and other residential unit complexes are charged per unit and as per the Town of Port Hedland’s Waste Department’s recommendations. Commercial and Industrial properties are charged one annual bin service fee as per the waste department’s recommendation.

Ratepayers may apply to council for exemption from the bin collection service charge. It is optional to request additional MGBs service and charges apply accordingly.

What Is The Emergency Services Levy?

The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is levy raised on behalf of the WA State Government since 2003, but collected through Local Government rates on each property. The ESL is used to fund emergency services, such as fire brigades and the SES. Council passes all ESL funds collected to the WA State Government, which then distributes them based on needs of those emergency services.

What Is The Pensioner Or Senior Rates Concession?

If pensioners meet the eligibility criteria, they are entitled to claim a rebate of up to 50% of their current year’s rates and ESL, or may defer payment of the Rates or ESL.

Persons who hold only the WA Seniors Card, and who meet the eligibility criteria, are entitled to claim a rebate of up to 25%, which is capped to an annual maximum amount. The option to defer is not available to persons who hold only a WA Seniors Card.

To apply for a rates concession, please contact the Water Corporation on 1300 659 951 or the Town of Port Hedland on (08) 9158 9300. Pensioner or Senior rates concessions are funded by the WA State Government.