How to read your rate and utilities notice
Townsville ratepayers receive their Rate and Utilities Notice in their mailbox or inbox twice a year – in February and August.
The notice improves the level of information for ratepayers and what they are being charged for by featuring breakdowns of rates, utilities, State Government levies, and eligible concessions.
- Rate & Utilities Notice FAQs (PDF, 462.5 KB)
- Rate & Utilities Notice FAQs on Direct debit, BPay & Payment Plans (PDF, 44.5 KB)
Example Rate & Utilities notice
Here is an example Rate & Utilities Notice with explanations for you to look through.
The charges on your Rate & Utilities Notice have broken down into rates, utilities, State Government levies and concessions. Read on to find out more information on each of these charges.
Rate categories (differential general rate categories)
We levy differential general rates, which means that the amount of General Rates payable is dependant upon; a) The land’s unimproved capital value or site value as advised by Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME); and b) the Differential General Rating Category that Council gives to the land. This approach recognises land used for the following purposes:
- Residential – Principal Place of Residence
- Residential – Non-Principal Place of Residence
- Multi-Unit Dwellings
- Retirement Villages / Boarding House
- Heavy Industry
- Special Development
- Large Retail
- Agriculture and Grazing
The category that your land has been placed in appears on the first page of your Rate & Utilities Notice (see example below).
Utility charges are for a service, facility or activity for water, sewerage and waste management.
Sewerage Utility Charges
Council, trading as Townsville Water, is a registered water service provider under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008. Council collects and treats sewage and trade waste from properties with the Townsville local government area and supplies recycled water for irrigation purposes only.
Sewerage utility charges apply to all properties that are contained either wholly or partly within the declared sewered area or outside the declared sewered area but connected or may be connected to our sewerage system. Not all properties within the local government area will have access to a sewerage service. Revenue from these charges is used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning and constructing sewerage infrastructure and the cost of operating, maintaining, and managing the sewerage system.
Read more about the different sewerage charges (PDF)
Waste Management Utility Charges
Townsville City Council provides waste collection and disposal services to properties within the Townsville local government area. The defined waste collection area is the area to which Council routinely provides waste collection services. Council provides waste collection services outside of the defined collection area by special arrangement.
Residential - Council imposes an annual fixed charge for each residential dwelling, home unit or flat within the defined waste collection area for the collection of one waste bin each week and one recycling bin each fortnight.
Non-Residential – For non-residential waste collection services within the defined waste collection area are provided upon request.
Read more about the different collection services available and charges (PDF)
Local Waste Management Levy
A fixed annual Waste Management Levy will be charged for the provision of one hard rubbish collection for each eligible property and access to free green waste disposal at Council’s waste facilities. The levy will apply to each residential dwelling, home unit or flat. The levy does not apply to undeveloped land.
Council, trading as Townsville Water, is a registered water service provider under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008. Council supplies potable and non-potable water to properties within the Townsville local government area. The declared water area is the area to which Council can offer a potable water service to properties. Not all properties within the local government area will have access to a potable water service. Revenue from these charges is used for the purpose of covering the cost of planning and constructing water infrastructure and the cost of operating, maintaining and managing the water system.
Residential – When charging for the supply and consumption of water at a residential property, Council offers a choice between (1) a Standard Plan water billing option and (2) a Water Watchers Plan water billing option.
Non-Residential – When charging for the supply and consumption of water at a non-residential property, for each lot including undeveloped land, a fixed annual access water service and the consumption charge
Nelly Bay Harbour Development
The Nelly Bay Harbour Development Special Rate levy is applied to maintaining water quality in the canals, dredging the canals, maintaining the rock walls around the canal area and maintaining the sediment basin in Gustav Creek.
Rural Water Supply Scheme
Council has resolved that because of the nature of the schemes, annual water charges will only apply to clients of the Jensen, Hencamp Creek and Black River Rural Water Supply scheme areas once water has been connected to individual properties. This is a departure from the policy of Council that all properties capable of being connected to a water supply shall pay the uniform water rate as from the water main becoming serviceable. A network contribution may be payable prior to a water connection being made.
Rural Fire Brigades Annual Charge
The Rural Fire Brigade Special Charge is levied on rateable lands serviced by the rural fire brigades. The funds raised from this charge are provided to the voluntary rural fire services so they can acquire and maintain fire-fighting equipment, provide training to volunteers and to enable them to operate throughout the rural areas of the region.
A concession is offered to Approved Pensioners. A fully completed Pensioner Application Form must be received by Council before any Council concession or State Government subsidy is considered. When the applications are approved, the pensioner concession and State Government subsidy will commence in the current rating period. The concession does not apply to rates on property other than the pensioners’ principal place of residence.
Read more about the Pension Concession and download the application form
Concessions may apply for general rates, water and sewerage charges to certain organisations as set out in the Council’s Charitable and Community Organisation General Rates and Utility Charges Policy and Concessions Schedule.
State Emergency Management Levy
The Emergency Management, Fire and Rescue Levy is a Queensland State Government levy. Townsville City Council acts as a collection agent only. State Government subsidy is available to Approved Pensioners. Further information is available on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) website.
State Land Evaluations
Local governments are required by the local government regulation to use state land valuations to calculate the general rate.
This year Council reduced its cap from 30% to 10% to limit the valuation impact for owner occupiers. That means regardless of how much land values have increased and inclusive of the 2% rate in the dollar increase, Townsville owner occupiers will not see more than a 10% increase from their 2021/22 general rate.
This means on average general rate increases for owner occupiers, inclusive of utility charges and valuation impact, equates to around $4 a week.
Valuations across the city varied from increases of over 200% to decreases in value of up to -7.5%