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Special rates and charges for contributory schemes

Council can impose a special rate and/or charge on property owners who receive a 'special benefit' from specific infrastructure works or services.

This is called a contributory scheme.

Contributory scheme rates and charges policy

Knox City Council has developed a special rates and charges policy to ensure a fair process for contributory schemes.

The Policy was adopted by Council in 2008.

See our Special Rates and Charges Policy – Contributory Schemes

About contributory scheme rates

Contributory scheme rates or charges are payable in addition to normal Council rates.

Council also contributes to contributory schemes. Under the Special Rates and Charges Policy, Council contributes at least 10 per cent towards the cost of works.

Council also pays for non-rateable land and contributes towards community benefit.

Council’s contribution may be up to 50 per cent of the cost.

Works covered by contributory schemes

Works may include:

  • unsealed or unmade roads
  • stormwater drainage
  • footpaths.

Starting a contributory scheme

A Scheme can be started through gaining majority support of benefitting owners by:

  • a resident petition
  • a resident letter(s), or by
  • Council through an adopted prioritised improvement works program for unmade roads.

Steps in the contributory scheme process

Once support is gained from the majority of benefitting owners, there are five steps:

Step 1: Setting the designated area

Council identifies a 'designated area'. This area includes the properties that have the potential of gaining a direct benefit from the proposed works.

If your property gains a benefit from the works then it will be in the scheme.

Step 2: Indicative costs

Council writes to residents with indicative costs for each property. Residents then have the opportunity to support the proposed scheme.

Indicative costs are usually within 30–50 per cent of the actual cost.

In accordance with our Policy, a minimum support level of 60 per cent is needed before we can proceed with a detailed plan and estimate for a scheme.

We may consider proceeding with a particular scheme if there are compelling reasons related to:

  • safety
  • health
  • amenity.
Step 3: Scheme support and options

Council estimates support level for the scheme and investigates the scheme options.

If strong support is received for one option (at least 60 per cent), Council proceeds with implementation.

We keep our residents updated and provide further opportunities for input during the process.

Step 4: Cost estimate

Following agreement on a particular option, Council will prepare a detailed cost estimate.

The level of accuracy is usually within 20 per cent.

These costs form the basis of the Scheme and the amount which is levied to each property.

When an option proceeds, the engineering plans and specifications are advertised on the open market to provide a competitive cost for the works.

Step 5: Calculation of actual cost

Following the completion of works, actual costs are calculated. If the actual cost is less than the estimated cost, a refund is given to landowners whose payment has been received in full.

If the actual cost is greater than the estimated cost, landowners are liable for the additional cost (this is limited to a maximum 10 per cent above the estimated cost).

Where instalments are being paid, these will be appropriately adjusted.

Paying by instalments

Payment is not required until construction has begun.

Payment can be made by one lump sum or 40 loan repayments over a period of 10 years.

Council loan repayments incur an interest rate of one per cent above the borrowed rate. The interest rate is set at the time the Scheme is adopted by Council.

About apportionment

Apportionment is how we calculate the level of benefit each property will derive from the works.

This benefit is then applied to the cost of the project and a contribution amount is calculated for each property.

Council uses formulas and criteria to calculate the contribution for each property.

Criteria include:

  • the zoning of the area
  • property dimensions
  • property road frontages
  • land uses
  • property access.

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Customer Service team on 9298 8000.

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