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Rates Strategy

Council is committed to working with ratepayers to develop a rating model that is supported by the community.

About the Rates Strategy

Council is preparing a Rates Strategy that sets out how rates are calculated for each type of property. This includes residential, rural residential, industrial and commercial properties.

Based on feedback and ideas from a volunteer-based Community Reference Group (CRG) on the best way to calculate rates, three different options are being considered in this consultation. The options are guided by the following principles of rating: administrative simplicity, economic efficiency, equity.

Council is now seeking further feedback on which option ratepayers think is the most appropriate. The information you provide will be used to help determine the model used for all ratepayers going forward (from 2020/21 financial year).

How rates are calculated

Council prepares a budget for each financial year which determines how much we need to raise in rates. The total amount to be raised is divided by the total value of all rateable properties in Palmerston. This figure is called the Rate in the Dollar.

Council then determines how much each property would need to pay by multiplying the Rate in the Dollar by the Unimproved Capital Value (UVC) of each property.

Rating options for the City of Palmerston 

The three rating options being considered are:

OPTION 1: Valuation-based charge with a differential (current method)

Using this model, all ratepayers would pay an amount based on a rate in the dollar set by Council and their property’s Unimproved Capital Value (UCV). If your rates are lower than a certain amount, a minimum rate would apply. The UCV, used by the City of Palmerston and most municipal Councils in the Northern Territory, are independently set by the Northern Territory Valuer-General every three years.

To calculate rates using this method, the UCV is multiplied by the rate in the dollar set by the Council each year.

Example: If the UCV of a property is $250,000 and the Council rate in the dollar is $0.0045 , the rates bill would be $1,125 ($250,000 x 0.0045).

How does option 1 affect me?

  • As this is the current rating method used by City of Palmerston, ratepayers would see no change to the way their rates are calculated.
  • Properties with higher UCVs pay higher rates than those with lower UCVs.
OPTION 2: Flat rate for Residential, UCV for remaining properties (used prior to 2015)

Using this model, all residential ratepayers would pay the same flat rate. Industrial and commercial properties would pay rates based on their UCV with a minimum rate.

How does option 2 affect me?

  • For residential ratepayers, this system follows the equality principle, all residential ratepayers pay the same amount.
  • This option does not take into account the equity principle, as it does not consider a ratepayer’s ability to pay.
  • Most residential ratepayers would see their rates increase using this model.
  • There would be no changes to the way commercial and industrial rates are calculated.
  • This is the system that was use by City of Palmerston prior to the 2015–16 financial year.

Use the rating calculator below to see how your rates would be affected under this model. (You will be required to enter your property's UCV on your current rates notice to utilise the calculator.)

OPTION 3: Combination Fixed Rate and UCV Rate

Under this option, Council would select a percentage of the total rates that would be raised from a fixed rate, and this would be evenly shared across all ratepayers. The rest would be raised from a valuation-based charge, calculated in a similar way to Option 1. Generally, the higher the fixed charge the more that low valued properties will pay, and higher value properties will pay less.

How does option 3 affect me?

  • This option balances equity and equality as it combines a flat rate which means all ratepayers would pay the same flat rate, and a valuation rate that takes into account people’s capacity to pay.
  • Option 3 is a more complicated rating system as it combines two charges which are calculated differently – fixed rate plus UCV rate.

Use the rating calculator below to see how your rates would be affected under this model. (You will be required to enter your property's UCV on your current rates notice to utilise the calculator.)


The consultation was open for public feedback from 2 September to 13 October 2019.

The community were able to provided feedback by completing an online survey or visiting a pop-up location. 

Discussion kiosk (date, time, location):

Saturday 7 September: 11.00am - 2.00pm, Gateway Shopping Centre 
Sunday 8 September: 9.00am – 11.00am, Zuccoli Plaza Markets  
Wednesday 11 September: 3.00pm - 6.00pm, Bakewell Shopping Centre 
Thursday 12 September: 11.00am - 2.00pm, Palmerston Shopping Centre 
Friday 20 September: 5.00pm - 8.00pm, Palmerston Markets
Sunday 22 September: 9.00am - 11.00am, Zuccoli Plaza Markets
Thursday 26 September: 3.00pm - 6.00pm, Bakewell Shopping Centre
Saturday 28 September: 10.00am - 1.00pm, Gateway Shopping Centre
Wednesday 2 October: 11.00am - 2.00pm, Palmerston Shopping Centre     
Friday 4 October: 5.00pm - 8.00pm, Gateway Shopping Centre  
Friday 11 October: 5.00pm - 8.00pm, Palmerston Markets
Saturday 12 October: 11.00am - 2.00pm, Gateway Shopping Centre  

Next steps

At its ordinary meeting on Tuesday 10 December 2019, Council decided to retain the current valuation-based (UCV) charge with a differential rating method based on community consultation feedback received.

The option selected will set the rates from 2020/21 financial year. (There will be no change to how the rates are valued for the 2019/20 financial year.) All ratepayers will be advised of the final decision.

Key documentation 

Rates Strategy fact sheet

Project Stages

  • Open This consultation is open for contributions.
  • Under Review
  • Closed This consultation is closed for contributions.