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Landscape Levy equalisation

News release
06 December 2022

The way the Landscape Levy is charged across local government areas in the SA Arid Lands is changing – but the services you currently receive from your Landscape Board will continue.

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board has introduced a landscape levy equalisation process to ensure there is a consistent levy basis across council areas in the region.

The equalisation process was required due to the change from the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 to the Landscape South Australia Act 2019. Landscape region boundaries were realigned as part of that process and the Port Augusta City Council and Flinders Ranges Council areas moved into the SA Arid Lands region.

Until the transition, SAAL had two local government areas within its district – Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs. Both council areas were levied on a differed basis to Port Augusta and the Flinders Ranges councils.

Currently there is a fixed charge (~$70) per rateable property in Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs council areas, a different fixed charge (~$40) in Port Augusta and a levy determined by capital value in the Flinders Ranges council area (average ~$30). This sees landholders in the four council areas paying different levy amounts for the same property types.

From July 2023, the regional landscape levy will be applied as a fixed charge that depends on the land use. Land uses are primary production, commercial, industrial, residential, vacant or other. Primary production properties, who receive the greatest benefits from natural resources management and the board’s programs, will pay more than other land use types.

A base rate will be paid on residential land, vacant land and other, with commercial and industrial properties paying 2x the base rate and primary production paying 5x the base rate. This aligns with a beneficiary pays principal and reflects the way in which our community uses and benefits from the sustainable use of natural resources.

The change to the landscape levy will see a consistent levy basis applied to ratepayers across all council areas.

Feedback on the proposal was sought through three weeks’ public consultation during November.

Approval of the Board’s prescribed landscape levy proposal and draft 2023/24 Business Plan is required from the Minister for Environment and Water.