What rates provide
Rates are used entirely by Local Land Services to pay for biosecurity services to landholders. This includes:
- the coordination of programs to control declared pest animals and insects, including access to baits, traps and chemicals, advice on control methods and assistance in forming groups to tackle pests
- the provision of animal health services, including animal health and drought feeding advice, diagnosis of flock and herd issues and response to emergency disease outbreaks
- the management of travelling stock reserves (TSRs), including the issue of movement permits, permits to graze or walk stock on TSRs and roads and advice about feed/water availability on TSRs
- the administration of stock identification systems, including property identification codes, brands, earmarks and compliance with the National Livestock Identification System
- the local administration of drought and other natural disaster relief
- the delivery of agricultural emergency management assistance for drought and other natural disaster relief (bushfires, floods).
Biosecurity services provide insurance against pests and disease and help maintain vital domestic and international market access for producers. Examples of biosecurity projects in the past year include outbreaks of fire ants and avian influenza, as well as statewide wild dog management programs.
Rates are not our only income
Rates are not the only source of income for Local Land Services – they make up about one-fifth of our funding. Rates are allocated completely to biosecurity, to provide insurance against pests, weeds and disease and to maintain vital market access for producers.
As well as rates, the NSW Government contributes funding through Catchment Action NSW, which provides on-ground programs to support biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural heritage initiatives.
The Australian Government also contributes funding through the National Landcare Programme, which helps drive sustainable agriculture, as well as supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia’s natural environment.
Funding structure of Local Land Services 2015-16
How rates are calculated
Rates are charged on a two-tier basis, involving a general rate paid by all landholders and an animal health rate paid by eligible ratepayers. Each rate type consists of a base charge plus a variable component. The base charge is similar to a flag fall in a taxi. It is a uniform charge on all rateable land.
General rate = base charge + cents per stock unit (based on notional carrying capacity*).
Animal health rate
Animal health rate = base charge + cents per stock unit (based on notional carrying capacity*). It is payable if your annual land and stock return showed at least 50 units of stock on your property.
This charge also applies if you did not lodge a 2015 land and stock return by the due date. Annual land and stock returns contain essential information for livestock disease control.
Pest insect special purpose levy
This levy is collected for the NSW Department of Primary Industries to cover the cost of plague locust control campaigns. It is not retained by Local Land Services.
Meat industry levy
This levy is collected on behalf of the NSW Food Authority and is not retained by Local Land Services.
*Notional carrying capacity
The notional carrying capacity of your property is calculated by Local Land Services in your local region. It is based on the number of stock your property would normally carry in an average year if the property was used solely for livestock purposes. This figure is based on stock units per hectare.
Under the Local Land Services Act 2013, a 40 kg sheep of any breed represents one stock unit and a 400 kg steer of any breed represents 10 stock units.
2016 rates increases
There have been some increases in rates for 2016 to ensure a consistent rate basis for ratepayers in all regions and to treat all ratepayers equally.
Some regions had more than one general rate. In a move towards a more consistent and standardised rate base throughout NSW, the base component of the general rate has been set at a minimum of $45. This means there will be increases on 2015 levels for some ratepayers.
Animal health rate
The base component of the animal health rate has been standardised to $30 across NSW.
General and animal health cents per unit
This charge increased by approximately three per cent to meet rising costs.
Stock ID fees
This fee supports stock identification systems. It is the same as the base charge of the general rate for each local region.
Special rate for specific purposes
Local regions can strike a special rate for specific purposes. In 2016, there are no special rates.
Paying your rates
Rates are levied for 1 January to 31 December each year. The preferred payment methods are:
- Online - by selecting “I want to make a payment” from the home page of this website.
- BPay – telephone and internet banking.
- By phone – call 1300 738 070 to pay by MasterCard or Visa.
You can also post a cheque or money order with the remittance slip on your rates notice.
Credit card surcharge
A 0.40% surcharge applies to rates paid by credit card to cover merchant fees. There is no surcharge for payments by cash, cheque or BPAY.
Interest will be charged on overdue rates. If you expect to have difficulty paying your rates by the due date, talk to the staff at your nearest Local Land Services office.