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About your rate notice

Rates and charges

Your City of Gold Coast rate notice is issued twice yearly, usually in January and July for the six-monthly billing periods of January to June and July to December, respectively (unless otherwise required).

You have 30 days from the date of your notice to pay your rate account or enter into a payment arrangement where you can pay by making regular instalments.

The standard charges you are likely to see on the rate notice are:

General rate

City of Gold Coast is required by law to levy a general rate or differential general rate on every rateable property each financial year. The general rate raises the revenue needed to run the city and pay for infrastructure, and a range of services and activities.

Please see our Rating Category Statement for a summary of the categories used to rate properties in the city of Gold Coast. Refer to the Table of Differential Rating Categories and Rates in the Revenue Statement and Ratings Resolutions for a summary of Council of the City of Gold Coast's annual differential general rate values for each category.

The value of your property, determined by the State Government's Department of Natural Resources,& Mines and Energy (DNRME), is the basis for calculating the general rate. Contact DNRME on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit a DNRME office for enquiries about land valuations. Find your annual land valuation on the DNRME website.

A property's rating category is assessed based upon property use, e.g. owner-occupier, permanent or tourist rental, commercial, etc., in conjunction with the City Plan. Where the rateability of the land alters during the year, pro rata adjustments of the differential general rate are made in accordance with Local Government Act 2009 section 93 and Local Government Regulation 2012 Chapter 4, Part 9, Division 2 (Section 109 et seq) (whichever provision is relevant to the context), from the date of the alteration.

To smooth out increases in the General Rate caused by unexpected spikes in property values in any given year, the City uses an averaged value over three years. To determine the general rate amount to be applied to the rate notice, this value is then multiplied by the differential general rate for the rating category. A minimum general rate applies if the value of a property is below a determined threshold.

Change in rating category: If the status of your property changes, for example, from a rental property to owner-occupier or from resident to rental, please let us know and we will forward you the data collection form so we can update your general rate category accordingly.

State Government Emergency Management Levy

The State Government Emergency Management Levy is collected on behalf of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services for the provision of these vital services.

All rateable properties within the City must pay the levy. The amount of the levy is dependent upon factors such as the use made of the land, the size and nature of any improvements on the property and the location (whether in or out of the Urban fire service boundary).

Please note: The Emergency Management Levy was reformed from the Urban Fire Levy from 1 January 2014.

City transport improvement

The City Transport Improvement Charge funds Council cabs, bus stops, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, rapid transport and improvements to local roads, as well as expanded bus services across the city.

Koala habitat acquisition and enhancement

The Koala Habitat Acquisition and Enhancement Separate Charge funds the purchase of land for koala habitat within the city. Find out more about our koala fund.

Open space preservation

The Open Space Charge assists the City to purchase land of specific environmental significance so that the city's natural environment, as well as threatened native plant and animal species, can be protected and preserved.

Open Space maintenance and enhancement

Gold Coast ratepayers contribute annually to an Open Space Maintenance and Enhancement Separate Charge (OSMESC). This contribution supports a wide range of activities and initiatives to manage and maintain the city’s natural asset network and is fundamentally important toward achieving the city’s 51 per cent native vegetation coverage target. These include:

  • management of City of Gold Coast’s existing natural area reserves (bushfire management, ecological restoration, weed and feral animal control) and provision of nature-based recreation activities (walking tracks, Naturally GC workshops and programs);
  • conservation partnerships program (including the Land for Wildlife and Voluntary Conservation Agreement Schemes);
  • strategic planning for the city, including City Plan updates; and
  • vulnerable species management (Koala Conservation Plan).

City-managed natural areas have doubled since 2006 and now cover around 13,652 hectares. In order to effectively maintain these areas, continued and sustainable investment is important to minimise ongoing maintenance and management costs, enhance the activation of nature based recreation experiences and work toward 51 per cent native vegetation and condition targets.

Significant on ground achievements have been realised through collecting and expending the separate charge, and through a sustained effort it will contribute to retaining one of the most biodiverse cities in Australia.

Recreational space

The Recreational Space Charge assists the City to purchase areas of large open space, with an emphasis on land for sport and recreation.

Waste management service

The Waste Management Utility Charge covers the cost of collection and disposal/processing of solid waste and recyclables from your property.

Find answers to frequently asked questions about your rate notice below.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • Are my rates subject to GST?

    No, rates and charges that appear on your rate notice are exempt from GST.

  • What does my rating category mean?

    City of Gold Coast operates a differential rating system, which means your land is categorised according to land use and/or demand for, or benefit from, City of Gold Coast services and rated accordingly. Included with the rate notice is an information sheet that explains how property has come to be included in a particular rating category.

  • Can I pay my rates in advance?

    City of Gold Coast rates can be paid in advance at any time either by making regular payments or making a lump sum payment. Please contact us to discuss payment methods including by Direct Debit or visit our Payments page to view your options online.

  • What should I do if I am unable to pay my rates on time?

    If you are unable to pay your rates in full and on time, please contact us before the due date to organise a weekly/fortnightly payment arrangement. You can also set up a payment plan online as a registered user of My Account.

  • If I have a payment arrangement but am unable to make payment when it’s due?

    If you are unable to make a payment as arranged, please contact us beforehand to make alternative arrangements. Otherwise, your existing arrangement may be terminated. You may have to pay backdated interest charges and be exposed to recovery action.

  • Are my regular payments listed individually on the rate notice?

    No, this would add pages to the rate notice and ultimately increase production and postage costs. You can view your account balance online as a registered user of My Account. You can also view a copy of your notice online through My Account.

    Alternatively, you can request a statement of account using the online form below without being registered for My Account, or contact us for clarification of your account balance or details of payments received.

    Request statement of account

  • What do I need to do to apply for pension concessions?

    To enquire about your eligibility for pensioner rate concessions, please call us on 07 5667 5995 or 1300 366 659 as you may be able to apply over the phone.

    Alternatively, you can complete an application form at your nearest City of Gold Coast customer service centre. Please bring your current Queensland Pensioner Concession card or Queensland Veterans' Affairs card.

    If you have recently moved to a new address within the City, you will also need to re-apply for pensioner rate concessions on your new property.

  • I have only just purchased the property, am I expected to pay the rate notice?

    Yes, normally any new or unpaid rates owing on a property before purchase should have been adjusted in your favour in settlement figures. You may care to check settlement documents or contact your solicitor to confirm the nature of the rate adjustment made upon settlement.

  • How do I notify the City of my authorisation for another party to act on my behalf with regards to my rates and water bills?

    Note: Notifications will only be accepted from the registered owner of the property or in the case of a trust or a company, the Director of the trust or company.

    Property(s) held in the name of individual person(s): By completing the Nominate Authorised Representative form.

    Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 366 659 or +61 7 5667 5995. Please quote the rates or water and sewerage notice reference number, property address and current postal address.

    Property(s) held in the name of a trust or in a company name: By the Director completing the Nominate Authorised Representative form.


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