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Wollongong City Council

Your Rates Explained

Wondering how your rates are worked out, and what they're used for?

What's on my Rates Notice?

There are two types of fees on your Rates Notice:

  1. Rates for your property. This works slightly differently depending on whether your property's rating category is residential, business, farmland or mining.
  2. Charges for your property. Some charges, like stormwater, depend on the type of land you have. Charges for your waste and recycling services will depend on the size and number of bins you have.

You can download our guide on How to read your rates and charges notice PDF, 250.96 KB to learn more.

How are rates worked out?

The total amount of money Council can collect from all ratepayers is set by a NSW Government body called the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). This is called our total general income.

We start with this amount to work out how much each property owner will need to contribute.

Pick an option below to learn more.

Your residential rates amount is made up of:

  • A base amount that is the same for everyone. This is decided by working out how much of the total general income will come from residential properties, then halving that amount. That number is then divided by the total number of residential properties, and this becomes everyone's residential base amount.
  • A variable amount that spreads the other half of the total general income from residential properties fairly, depending on the value of your land (not including your house or other property improvements). To work out your variable amount, your land value is multiplied by a rate in the dollar.

The land value is multiplied by a rate in the dollar to work out your rates.

A minimum amount applies regardless of the land's value.

The rates below are multiplied by the land value to work out rates for business, farming or mining properties, and the variable part of residential rates.

Land categorySub-categoryRate in the dollar
3c Regional Business0.00844604
Light Industrial0.00654140
Heavy Industrial0.01007405
Heavy 1 Activity 10.01529591

The NSW Valuer General gives land holders an independent land value every three years. This value does not include buildings or other improvements.

Visit the NSW Valuer General website to learn more about how land is valued.

Councils use land values to guide how much each property owner pays for rates. To make this fair, the land’s value is multiplied by a rate in the dollar. This means properties with lower land values will pay less than those with higher land values.

No, Wollongong City Council does not get more money when land values go up.

Any increase to a council’s total general income is determined by IPART. This is also called the rate peg. You can visit IPART's website to learn more about how the rate peg works.

For the 2023-2024 financial year, IPART increased Wollongong City Council’s total general income by 3.7%. But because of how the total general income is distributed, and the role land values play in how much you pay, this doesn’t mean everyone’s rates will increase by 3.7%.

How your rates are used

Your Council rates go towards providing services and facilities for the community, and the cost of running our city. This includes everything Council does, from collecting waste and maintaining roads, to buying library books and patrolling beaches.

Rates are just one of the ways we pay for these things - we also have other income from fees and government grants.

Below are just some of things we provide to the wider community with the help of your rates.