Each year rates are set by estimating the cost of services, infrastructure and projects that will need to be funded during the year.
The Launceston City Council then estimates how much revenue will be received as grants from the State and Federal Governments together with fees and charges. The balance of the expenditure is funded from rates and charges.
Essentially, the rates you pay are your investment in your local services and facilities.
The Council's rates structure for 2012/13 is similar to the previous year's model; some changes occurred with the transfer of responsibility for water and sewerage services to Ben Lomond Water in 2009.
The Council delivers and supports a wide range of local services. We manage more than $850 million of community assets and undertake an annual capital works program of more than $49.8 million.
If infrastructure such as buildings, roads and stormwater pipes are not adequately maintained, future communities suffer from massive rectification costs.
Council rates are a property tax levied by councils to fund a range of services for the benefit of the local community.
Rates together with any applicable fees, fund a range of the Council's services.
- Air quality and climate change
- Albert Hall
- Animal control
- Car parking
- Cataract Gorge Reserve
- Carr Villa Memorial Park
- City Government
- Community development
- Community halls
- Economic development
- Environmental health
- Flood mitigation
- FREE Tiger Bus
- Inveresk Precinct including Aurora Stadium
- Launceston Aquatic
- Launceston Travel and Information Centre including the Airport booth
- Launceston Waste Centre including both the Nunamara and Lilydale Transfer Stations
- Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association (NTCA) Sports Complex
- Parks and reserves
- Planning and building approvals
- Princes Theatre including the Earl Arts Centre
- Promotions and marketing (Tourism and the Council's events and services)
- Public toilets
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Inveresk and Royal Park)
- Roads, footpaths and cycle ways
- Sports grounds
- Stormwater rainaged
- Street cleaning
- Street lighting
- Kerbside Collection Service
Launceston rates include a General Rate and Charge and a Waste Management Charge. The Council also collects a Fire Service Rate on behalf of the State Fire Commission.
The rights, responsibilities of ratepayers and the Council are set out in Part 9 of the Local Government Act 1993.
How rates are calculated
In common with most of the Council's in Tasmania, rates are allocated based on each property's Assessed Annual Value (AAV). The amount to be funded from rates and charges is based on the estimated cost of services and maintaining the facilities and infrastructure.
The AAV is the estimated rental value of the property. Approximately every six years, the State Government Valuers determine the AAV together with the land and capital values, every two years values are adjusted based on indexation factors.
Some rates and charged apply to specific services, others are used to fund a range of the Council's responsibilities.
The General Rate and Charge is levied to fund a range of the Council's services such as roads, stormwater, planning, culture and recreation. This rate is applied to all properties in the municipal area other than those which are specifically exempted by statute.
The Waste Management Charge is a flat charge that funds the cost of the weekly garbage and recycling collection service. If you would like to change the size of your wheelie bin or request an additional service please call the Council's Customer Service Centre on 03 6323 3000, a fee may apply.
The State Fire Service Rate is levied on behalf of the State Government to contribute toward funding the Fire Commission and is applied to various fire districts.
The CBD Promotional Rate is levied to fund promotional activities within the Central Business District(CBD). This rate applies to properties within a defined area in the centre of the city.
All Local Government rates are GST exempt.
Your rates may be paid in one payment or in four instalments, on 31 August, 30 November, 31 January and 30 April.
Overdue rate instalments are subject to late payment penalties.
Please do not hesitate to call 03 6323 3000 if you are having difficulty in meeting your rate payments. It may be possible to make arrangements.
Information for Pensioners
Pensioner Rate Remissions
If you hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Department of Veteran Affairs Card or a Health Care Card, own the property they occupy as their principal place of residence on the 1 July, and are liable for payment of rates may be eligible to apply for a rate remission.
For existing pensioners, verified by Social Security or Veterans' Affairs, the remission will be automatically shown as a reduction on your rates notice. New pensioners (if date of grant is prior to 1 July 2012) should complete a remission form after 1 July 2012 and before 31 March 2013.
Pensioner Discount Booklets
The Pensioner Voucher booklet is available to property owners who hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veteran Affairs Card only. There is one voucher book per property.
The book contains free parking vouchers for use at the Paterson East, West and Elizabeth St Car Parks between Monday and Thursday each week and a voucher for free use of the Launceston Waste Centre.