Rates and Charges are an important source of revenue to Council so that it can continue to fund and improve facilities across the municipality.
Your Rates Notice Explained
Rates and charges are payable by instalments
The due dates for 2021 -22 are:
- 30 September 2021
- 30 November 2021
- 28 February 2022
- 31 May 2022
Interest will apply on all overdue amounts unless payment is received on or before the due date. Interest is set at 10% and accrues from the relevant instalment due date until date of payment. Section 172(2) (a) of the Local Government Act 1989 requires that interst on unpaid rates and charges is to be calculated at the rate fixed under Section 2 of the Penalty Interst Rates Act 1983. The Penalty Interest Rate is set annually by the Attorney-General.
The State Government have introduced the Fair Go Rates System (FGRS) which sets out the maximum amount councils may increase the average rates per property in a year. For 2020-21 the FGRS cap has been set at 1.5%. The cap applies to both general rates and municipal charges. The Municipal Association of Victoria has prepared a short video describing how rate capping works.
Municipal Association of Victoria
The Victorian Government’s rate cap system restricts how much councils can increase their average rate rise.
How does rate capping work?
A council’s average rates bill must not be more than the rate cap set by the Minister in line with the Consumer Price Index.
Will my rates go up by the rate cap?
No. The rate cap does not apply to individual rates notices. The overall rate revenue collected by a council cannot exceed the current rate cap, but how much each property owner pays is determined by the value of your property.
The Victorian Government has excluded waste charges and the State’s fire services property levy from the rate cap.
Do councils get more money when property values go up?
No. All properties were revalued on 1 January, but councils do not receive extra money when property values rise. Total council rates are capped.
Some ratepayers will pay less than the rate cap and others will pay more, but the overall general rates collected by a council won't exceed the current rate cap, unless they were granted an exemption.
How are council rates set?
Each council takes the total rate revenue to be collected and divides it by the total value of all properties in its municipality to calculate the rate in the dollar.
This ensures councils do not receive more money when property values rise.
The rate in the dollar is then multiplied by the market value of each property to ensure each ratepayer contributes a fair share.
Council will add its municipal charge - if it has one - which is also included in the rate cap.
Waste charges and your fire services property levy are then added to your general rates notice to determine the total amount you will pay.
What do my rates pay for?
Almost everything you see from your front gate is provided by councils.
From the footpath, street lights, roads and bins to the parks, gardens, sports facilities and child care centres. They remove your waste, provide free libraries, immunise babies and deliver meals to the homes of older people.
Councils collect 3.6 per cent of all taxes nationally. Your rates help to fund more than 100 valued community services and local infrastructure worth more than $90 billion for the whole community to enjoy.
A property is allocated a differential rate category based on the primary use of the property.
Rate revenue is calculated by applying a rate in the dollar to all the Capital Improved Values (CIV) of rateable properties. As Council utilises the Differential Rating system, there may be different rates in the dollar for each separate rating category. The rating categories are determined based on the primary use of the property and are titled – Farmland, Residential, Rural Residential, Vacant Land, and Commercial.
If you believe your property is being rated under the incorrect differential category, please contact us.
For further information see the 2021-22 Budget
How are my rates calculated?
Council bases it's rate calculation on the Capital Improved Value (CIV) of each individual property. The formula for calculating general rates, excluding any additional charges or arrears, is as follows:
General Rates = CIV x Rate in the CIV Dollar
The rate in the CIV dollar is set by Council as part of its annual budget process and may include differential rates for different types of properties as listed above.
Farm Land as defined in Sec. 2 (1) of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 No. 6653 which states: -
(a) That the property is not less than 2 hectares in area, and
(b) That it is used primarily for grazing (including agistment), dairying, pig farming, poultry farming, fish farming, tree farming, bee keeping, viticulture, horticulture, fruit growing or crops of any kind or for any combination of those activities, and
(c) That it is used by a business:
(i) That has a significant and substantial commercial purpose or character, and
(ii) That seeks to make a profit on a continuous or repetitive basis from its activities on the land, and
(iii) That is making a profit from its activities on the land, or that has reasonable prospect of making a profit from its activities on the land if it continues to operate in the way that it is operating.
If you believe your property should be classified as ‘Farmland' you may apply to the Council by completing and returning the Application to Rate Property as Farmland 55KB PDF
Council declares a Municipal Charge each year to cover some of the administrative costs of the Council. The charge is a fixed amount and applies to all properties within the Shire. The Local Government Act 1989 requires that the total revenue received from the Municipal Charge must not exceed 20% of the sum of the total revenue from general rates plus the Municipal Charge.
The Municipal Charge for the 2021-22 financial year has been set at $322.00 per rateable property.
Single Farm Enterprise Exemption
Where a Single Farm Enterprise is conducted on several properties, only one Municipal Charge is payable for that Farm Enterprise. To apply for the Single Farm Enterprise Exemption, please complete and return the Application for Municipal Charge Exemption 67KB PDF form.
All property valuations are undertaken annually by the Valuer-General Victoria. For more information click here
Property owners have a right under the Valuation of Lands Act 1960 to object to the valuation of their property. To lodge an objection online, Click HERE or complete the attached form Here and return within two months of the issue of the Annual rate notice.
For more detailed information from the Valuer General Victoria click here
Amalgamation of property
If you receive multiple rates notices for properties/parcels of land which share a boundary fence and are owned by the same person, you may amalgamate your property for rating purposes. This would enable you to receive only one Rate Notice. Please complete the Application to Amaglamate Properties Form 96KB PDF and return to Council.
Pensioner Rate Concessions
Concessions programs are designed to ensure eligible cardholders have access to essential services. Eligible concession card holders may receive a reduction of Council rates up to the maximum amount of $247.00, as set by the Department of Health and Human Services 2021-22, and $50 for Fire Services Property Levy rebate.
Pensioners who received a rate rebate last year, and who are still eligible, will find the current rebate has been calculated and deducted automatically from their rates notice. If this is the case, no further application is required.
Eligible cardholders (Pensioner Concession Card or Gold TPI or War Widow Cards) who reside at the property and did not receive a rebate last year, or who do not have the concession shown on their rates notice, must make application on the required form to Council by 30 June each year.
To apply for the Pensioner Concession on your rates and charges, please complete and return the Pension Concession Application Form. The concession does not apply to Health Care Card holders.
Pensioner Rate Rebate 2021-22 - $247.00
Fire Services Property Levy Rebate 2021-22 - $50.00
Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL)
From 1 July 2013, the Victorian Government replaced the insurance-based fire services levy, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
Rather than contributing through insurance premiums, a property-based levy is now collected with council rates. Eligible pensioners and veterans also receive a $50 concession.
The Fire Services Property Levy funds vital life saving equipment, firefighters, staff and volunteers, training, infrastructure and community education.
All revenue collected through the Fire Services Property Levy goes to supporting the State’s fire services.
The FSPL is made up of two parts:
- A fixed charge on each property; and
- A variable charge based on the property’s capital improved value
Details of the FSPL are included on the council annual valuation, rates and charges notice including how the levy has been calculated. To check your Levy has been calculated correctly HERE
More information on the Fire Services Property Levy is available here.
Trust for Nature - Conservation Covenant Rate Rebate
A conservation covenant is a voluntary agreement between Trust for Nature and the landowners. It is placed on the title of the land to ensure that the natural bushland is permanently protected. The Council offers a rate rebate to landowners who register a Trust for Nature conservation covenant on their property.
The rebate acknowledges the long-term commitment of these landowners to conserving the biodiversity on their land. Landowners will receive a rebate of up to $25 per hectare of land placed under covenant. The total rebate will depend on the rated value of the covenanted area, with a minimum payment of $50 and a maximum payment of $500. For further information on conservation covenants, visit the Trust for Nature website.
Reprinting of Rates Notices
A reprinting fee of $7.00 (GST free) will be charged per Rates Notice. For a full list of Councils fees and charges visit: Adopted Budget Fees & Charges 2021-22
Email Rate Notices
Have your Rate Notices delivered electronically.
Snail mail is slow, costly & bad for the environment. Get your rates notice by email. It’s simple, secure, saves time... and trees. Register your details, and your next rates notice will be emailed to you. Getting your rate notices by email will help cut down on paper use and give you more time to pay.