How rates are calculated
General rates are calculated based on land valuations and rating categories. Other charges may also appear on your rate account, including levies and waste utility charges.
Land valuation is based on site value. Site value is the market value of the land in its present state. It includes the value of any improvements made to the land including filling, clearing, levelling and drainage works. The site value does not include structural improvements such as houses, sheds and other buildings.
If you disagree with your new valuation and you have evidence that it is incorrect, you can lodge an objection with the Department of Resources. It must be lodged within 60 days of the issue date of the new valuation.
Brisbane City Council averages your property's past three land valuations to determine the average rateable valuation. Your property's current valuation will be used to calculate rates if it's less than your average rateable valuation.
If your property was subdivided or re-surveyed, you may not have three past land valuations. In this case, an averaging factor is applied to the current land valuation to calculate your rates.
Council calculates a rate charge by multiplying your property's average rateable value by a dollar rate. The dollar rate used depends on your property's rating category, which is based on its main land use.
From 1 July 2021, there are 80 rating categories. An overview of Council's rating categories can be found in our Rating Category Statement 2021-22 (PDF - 38kb).
In 2022-23, Council is introducing new rating categories for houses and units rented for transitory accommodation purposes through sites like Airbnb, Stayz or other accommodation agencies.
The new rating will apply where a property is offered, available or used by paying guests for more than 60 days a year, with each stay being less than 42 consecutive days.
If an owner resides there while guests are staying, a different rating category would apply. If your property is offered, available or used for transitory accommodation, please contact Council on 3403 8888 so the relevant rating category can be applied, if appropriate.
To object to your property's rating category, you can lodge an objection within 30 days of your rate account issue date. Rating category objections should be sent via email or posted to:
Brisbane City Council
GPO Box 1434
Brisbane Qld 4001.
- averaging valuations
- defining rating categories
- general rates
- special rate areas and levies
- Environmental Management and Compliance Levy, and
- Waste Utility Charges.
Interest on overdue rates
If the full rates balance is not paid by the due date, interest is charged in line with the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012.
Find out more about the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 on the Queensland Government website under City of Brisbane Act 2010.
The interest rate is set each year as part of Council’s Resolution of Rates and Charges.
In 2021/22, the interest rate is 8.03% per annum, which compounds daily. Note, interest does not apply to some fees.
Water and sewerage charges
These charges are shown on a separate water and sewerage account issued by Urban Utilities.
Rate Account and Services Establishment Fee
Council charges a Rate Account and Services Establishment Fee when a property transfers ownership.
General rates include services such as:
- roads, bridges, kerbing and channelling and parks and gardens
- libraries and community activities
- free trees
- pest eradication.
The charge is calculated by multiplying the average rateable valuation by the budget's dollar rate. There is a different minimum annual charge for all properties (except land use 72).
Brisbane's special rates areas include:
- two malls
- five suburban centre improvement projects
- one living village development levy.
There are levies for both domestic and non-domestic use.
Environmental Management and Compliance Levy
This charge covers the protection of waterways from toxins, trash, sediment, effluent discharge and landfill gas control. The charge also includes remediation of landfills to meet Council's obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
Bushland Preservation Levy
The Bushland Preservation Levy covers city bushland purchase and protection, including public access facilities. The levy is payable by all properties that are charged general rates, except those covered by a Voluntary Conservation Agreement or a Land for Wildlife Agreement. Those properties are offered a Bushland Preservation Rebate.
Waste Utility Charge
This charge covers rubbish collection and disposal costs for wheelie bins, footpath rubbish bins, kerbside collections and disposal facilities management.
The annual fee depends on the service provided. The minimum charge is for one wheelie bin. You are charged for each additional service.
As a result of the introduction of the Queensland Government’s Waste Levy, an additional Commercial Waste Utility Charge will apply to properties in commercial rating categories. The charge is $15 per quarter for each Waste Utility Charge or Extra Waste Utility Charge.
Emergency Management Levy
Local governments are required to collect this levy for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).
The levy ensures there is a sustainable funding base to address a wide range of emergencies including floods, cyclones, storms, fire and accidents.
For more information, visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.
Rural Fire Service Levy
This is a Council levy. Brookfield Bush Fire Brigade, Pine Mountain Rural Fire Brigade and Moreton Island Rural Fire Brigade charge ratepayers for fire services.
The following policies give an overview of Council’s rates rebates:
- Partial Rebate of Rates and Charges (JobSeeker) Policy (Word - 58kb)
- Partial Rebate of General Rates (Not-for-profit Organisations) Policy (Word - 68kb)
- Partial Rebate of Rates and Charges (Not-for-profit kindergartens) Policy (Word - 95kb)
- Partial Rebate of Rates and Charges (Pensioners) Policy (Word - 120kb)
The following policy details how we manage overdue rates: