When purchasing land and/or a building in South Australia, in addition to the purchase price there are a number of other ongoing costs that become obligations of the new purchaser. For organisations such as charities and religious organisations (such as churches), there are a number of remissions that you may qualify for which could help lessen the ongoing financial burden.

The following areas in which rebates may be available relates specifically to religious organisations (Churches) with charitable status. If your organisation falls outside these parameters it may still be worth doing some research and making some enquiries.

Land Tax
A 100% Exemption for Land Tax is available for charitable organisations (eg: Churches) under Section 4 of the land Tax Act of 1936. For more information on this exemption then please go to the Revenue SA website. As land tax is calculated and payable in advance for the whole of the financial year it may be important that you apply as soon as possible. For the relevant application form please follow the link here.

Council Rates
Section 162 of the Local Government Act provides for mandatory Rebates of 100% of Council Rates for land containing a Church or other building used for public worship. To apply for this rebate you will need to make contact with your local council and follow their specific application process.

Emergency Services Levy
For Land that is assessed as Land Use – ‘Special community use’ a reduction in the Fixed Charge component is available in addition to a discounted factor (rate) for the calculation of Emergency Services Levy (“ESL”). Organisations established for charitable purposes (eg: churches) fall into the Land Use Category – ‘Special Community Use’.

Written requests for organisations to be recognised under the ‘Special Community Use’ category should be directed to the State Valuation Office, GPO Box 1354, Adelaide SA 5001, or by email to lsgobjections@sa.gov.au.

SA Water
Rebates for water and sewer rates are available for organisations who hold charitable status and are exempt from Income tax (i.e. Places of worship). Applications for this rebate must be made in writing directly to SA Water, GPO Box 1751, Adelaide SA 5001.

Whilst SA Power Networks advise that they do not administer any scheme for discounts and that any enquiries regarding any discounts should be directed at the electricity retailers, in the past some electricity retailers have offered discounts, they also say – there is no harm in asking – they can only say No!

If you do require specific information in relation to your organisation or assistance with your enquiries then please contact us at Tri-meridian. We are here to help you take the next step.

For further information, please contact the author.

This article is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Tri-meridian Corporate & Commercial Law and is intended to be used as a guide only. It is not, and is not intended to be, advice on any specific matter. We do not accept responsibility for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of this article. Before acting on the basis of any material in this article, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser.