The Hills Shire Council has three rating categories — residential, business and farmland.
Council declares the rating category for your land on your July rates notice each year.
Your land was categorised in accordance with Chapter 15 “Part 3 – Ordinary Rates” of the Local Government Act 1993 and Part 5 of the Local Government General Regulations 2005.
RATING CATEGORY RESIDENTIAL
Section 516 of the Local Government Act 1993 prescribes that “Land is to be categorised as “residential”” if “its dominant use is for residential accommodation”.
In the case where the land is vacant, “it is zoned or otherwise designated for use under an environmental planning instrument (with or without development consent) for residential purposes or if it is rural land”.
For boarding houses or lodging houses, must have at least 3 tariff paying occupants who have resided there for the last 3 months consecutively and paying no more than the maximum tariff as prescribed by the minister each year.
Hotels, motels, guest house, back packer hostels (including boarding houses and lodging houses charging above maximum tariff) are to be categorised as business.
CATEGORISATION AS BUSINESS
Section 518 of the Local Government Act 1993 prescribes that “Land is to be categorised as “business” if it cannot be categorised as farmland, residential or mining.”
If council cannot determine that the land as residential or farmland in accordance with the relevant sections of the act or regulations, it must determine the category as business.
For land to be categorised as Farmland for rating purposes it must satisfy the criteria as set out in Section 515 of the Local Government Act 1993:
CATEGORISATION AS FARMLAND
Land is to be categorised as “Farmland” if it is a parcel of rateable land valued as one assessment and its dominant use is for farming (that is, the business or industry of grazing, animal feedlots, dairying, pig-farming, poultry farming, viticulture, orcharding, bee-keeping, horticulture, vegetable growing, the growing of crops of any kind, forestry or aquaculture within the meaning of the Fisheries Management Act 1994, or any combination of those businesses or industries) which:
(a) has a significant and substantial commercial purpose or character, and (b) is engaged in for the purpose of profit on a continuous or repetitive basis (whether or not a profit is actually made).
Land is not to be categorised as farmland if it is rural residential land.
The regulations may prescribe circumstances in which land is or is not to be categorised as farmland.
As per section 515(1) & (1)(a) “Business” means the purchase and sale of goods and services in an attempt to make a profit “Commercial-Commerce” means the interchange of goods or commodities especially on a large scale As per section 515(2) if the property is of a rural nature and not farming the land as a business for commercial purpose, Council cannot rate the land as Farmland.
An example of rural property, residential dwelling, horses for personal use, vegetable garden for domestic/own use – this is not considered to be Farmland in relation to the above legislation, this property would be rated as residential.
MIXED DEVELOPMENT LAND
Under Section 14BB of the Valuation of Land Act 1916 “mixed development land means a parcel of land occupied or used solely as the site of one or more buildings comprising: a) one, or more than one, flat, and b) one, or more than one, office.”
An example of land that has mixed use might be, a business downstairs and a residential unit upstairs that each have their own access and amenities. NSW Valuation Services may be able to provide an apportioned valuation between residential and non-residential. Once Council receives this apportionment, we will adjust your rates accordingly and back date to the date of your application.