Territory Stories

Alice Springs Town Council municipal plan 2018/19 - 2021/22



Alice Springs Town Council municipal plan 2018/19 - 2021/22


Alice Springs Town Council


Alice Springs Town Council municipal plan; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Alice Springs (N.T.). Council -- Periodicals; Local government -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs -- Periodicals

Publisher name

Alice Springs Town Council; Alice Springs Town Council

Place of publication

Alice Springs


2018/19 - 2021/22

File type


Copyright owner

Alice Springs Town Council

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

forms of public goods, services and community obligations not necessarily in direct relation to user benefit, but ultimately of benefit to the community as a whole. In this respect, rates are a general purpose levy not linked to user pays principles. The amount of rates collected by Council depends on conscious and considered choices as to the quantity and quality of services that it decides to provide and how much of the cost is to be recovered from other revenue sources. The amount collected in rates represents the difference between the total expense required by Council to fund programs, maintain assets and to service and redeem debt, and the total amount of revenue from all other sources. Other sources of income include grants, prescribed and discretionary fees, fines and charges, sales of assets and interest earned. Therefore, rates are the balancing item between total expenses and all other revenue sources. Council acknowledges that property taxes do not recognise the situation where ratepayers are asset rich and income poor. In some cases, ratepayers may have considerable wealth reflected in property they own but have a low level of income. Examples include pensioners, self-funded retirees, businesses subject to cyclical downturn, households with large families and property owners with little equity but high level of mortgage debt. Moreover, the Australian taxation system which allows for annuities, allocated pensions income and other assets to be treated differently in an assessment for government concessions and benefits, may further distort the true disposable income status of one household compared to another. While personal income tax is more reflective of the capacity to pay, it is not possible to expect a property tax system to deal practically with all aspects of capacity to pay based on individual households and businesses. It is also not practical or acceptable to shift, modify or manipulate the existing system to the benefit of one group of ratepayers at the expense of another unless such a shift is widely accepted and for a proper purpose. In fact, local government has no mandate or ability to universally apply a capacity to pay test. In recognition of this fact, Council has developed its rates assistance and payment options to ensure that officers can provide ratepayers with assistance upon request. In the local government context, the rating system determines how Council will raise money from properties within the municipality while the annual budget determines how that money will be spent. The rating system comprises the valuation base and the rating instruments that are used to calculate property owners liability for rates. The Local Government Act determines a councils ability to develop a rating system and provides considerable flexibility to councils to suit their requirements within the context of public finance methodology, which includes principles of equity, benefit, efficiency and community resource allocation. Under the Act, Council has the power to levy: Uniform rates, Differential rates, Special rates, Page 10