Hindmarsh Shire Council - Policy - Special Rates & Charges
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Policy - Special Rates & Charges  Printer Friendly

To provide a strategic framework for the application of the user pays principle and to ensure a fair and equitable basis to levying a special rate and/or charge.

Works or Services
A Special Rate or Special Charge Scheme will be used to finance works and services in all circumstances permitted by legislation.

When considering infrastructure related projects, Special Charge Schemes will apply in circumstances where there is an upgrade or an expansion to infrastructure. Maintenance and renewal works would not normally be considered for a Special Charge Scheme.

Dust suppression works, which, are classified as upgrade works, are of a temporary nature, and will be exempt from a Special Charge Scheme.

Developer Initiated Works
Where works are initiated by a specific development or planning requirement, and construction of that infrastructure provides obvious special benefits to those existing properties. Council will consider enacting a Special Rate or Charge Scheme to recover reasonable costs from those owners, subject to:
o The majority of those owners agreeing to be a part of the scheme;
o any identified community benefit, which Council would be required to fund being considered in Council’s budget process and being consistent with Council’s forward works plans and strategies; and
o the funding of works not removing overriding or delaying the specific planning requirements.

Total Cost
The total cost to be recovered by the implementation of a scheme shall include Council’s actual expenses related to the scheme preparation, and implementation, design, supervision and administration, but shall not exceed the maximum total levy applicable to this Special Rate or Charge Scheme as determined in accordance with the Ministerial Guidelines to the Act.

Apportionment of costs shall be on each property identified by Council as receiving a “special benefit” and has been included in the Scheme.

For footpath, kerb and channel and road construction schemes when apportionment is based on the unit length of frontage of blocks, included in the Scheme as receiving benefits sideages shall be treated at 1/3 unit length.

Considering Submissions
Where the total cost to be received from the Special Charge Scheme or service exceeds 50% of the total cost, Council will not proceed with the Scheme if Council receives objections from persons required to pay the special rate or charge in respect to a majority of the rateable properties for which the charge applies.

Council will invoice for the Special Charge Scheme, requiring payment in full within 30 days of the request for payment. Alternatively, Council will also offer quarterly instalments for a period of 5 years (ie quarterly instalments). Any incurred interest will be charged at the current rate of interest set down by the Governor in Council on any balance outstanding. Should Council receive any request for a variation or different arrangement for payment of the Special Charge Scheme, the request will be considered by the Chief Executive Officer.

Completion of Works, as “defined”
1. applying the original estimate of costs so that the declared contribution is not varied unless the costs are less than the original estimate; and

2. levying the charge for the works based at the time of application of the primer seal.

Payment Options
The Special Rate or Charge will be payable by;

1. Lump sum in full within thirty (30) days after the date of issue of the notice; or

2. Quarterly instalments over 5 years if the average charge under the scheme is less than $5,000, at Council’s borrowing rate at the date of adoption of the scheme; or

3. Quarterly instalments over 10 years if the average charge under the scheme is above $5,000, at Council’s borrowing rate at the date of adoption of the scheme; and

4. Any applications for waiving charges under Special Charge Schemes are to be treated on their merits by Council.

Expenditure on an asset which maintains the asset in use but does not increase its service potential or life, eg repairing a pothole in a road, repairing the decking on a timber bridge, repairing a single pipe in a drainage network, repairing the fencing in a park, repair work to prevent early failure of an asset or a portion of an infrastructure network.

Expenditure on renewing an existing asset or a portion of an infrastructure network, which increases the service potential or extends the life, eg resheeting part of a road, renewing a section of a drainage network, major maintenance on bridges, resealing a road, replacing an existing footpath.

For the purposes of the special charge, scheme renewal projects are those defined in which the primary purpose of carrying out the works is to manage the asset ie extend its life. In many circumstances Council takes the opportunity to improve the service that is provided to minimum design standards. For example, when a road is renewed, which has failed and has a three metre seal, it is replaced with a 6.2 metre sealed pavement. In these circumstances these works are classified as renewal.

Upgrade Works
Expenditure on upgrading the standard of an existing asset of infrastructure network to provide a higher level of service to users.

Upgrades would include, but not be limited:
o Replacing drainage pipes with pipes of greater capacity;
o upgrading the standard of a road from unsealed to sealed;
o upgrading the standard of a road to a higher classification;
o replacing an existing bridge with one having a greater carrying capacity; and
o upgrading the standard of a road to include drainage and/or kerb and channel.

Expansion Works
Expenditure on extending an infrastructure network, at the same standard currently enjoyed by existing residents, to a new group users.

Expansion projects would include, but not be limited to:
o Extending a footpath on the road network;
o extending the drainage network;
o establishment of new carparks; and
o development of new facilities.

Council Budget
Local Government Act
Ministerial Guidelines – Special Rates and Charges, September 2004


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