What is the Fire Services Property Levy?
The Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) is an additional charge that will be collected by Councils and passed on to the Victorian Government to fund fire services. By law, this additional charge must be displayed on your Council rates notice.
The property-based levy has replaced the existing insurance-based levy, and means that every Victorian property owner will now contribute a fair share to the funding of fire services. The levy will be payable by all rateable and non-rateable property owners and will comprise a fixed charge as well as a variable component, as detailed below.
The levy does not replace your property insurance or provide cover for your property against fire.
How is my Fire Services Property Levy calculated?
The FSPL generally consists of two items:
- A fixed charge of $107 for residential and $213 for non-residential properties, and
- A variable charge, which is calculated by multiplying the Capital Improved Value (CIV) of your property by the variable levy rate applicable to that property's land use classification.
For a residential property with a CIV of $250,000 the calculation of the FSPL would be as follows:
|Capital Improved Value||$250,000|
|Variable Levy Rate (Residential)||0.000122|
|Variable Charge (CIV $250,000 x Variable Levy Rate 0.000128)||$30.05|
|TOTAL FSPL (fixed charge + variable charge)||$137.05|
Properties within the City of Greater Shepparton will contribute to the funding of the CFA. Refer to the Fire Services Property Levy website for a list of the CFA variable levy rates applicable to various land use classifications.
Am I entitled to a pensioner concession?
If you are an eligible card-holder, you will receive a $50 concession off the FSPL for your principal place of residence. If you received a pensioner concession on your Council rates last year, and are still eligible, the current concessions for Council rates and the FSPL will be shown on your rate notice. If this is the case, no further application is required.
Where a concession is not shown on your rate notice, and you are an eligible card-holder (Pensioner Concession Card or Gold TPI or War Widow Card), you must complete and return the Pensioner Concession Application Form by 30 June 2016.
The pensioner concession does not apply to Health Care Card holders.
If I have multiple farm properties, do I pay the Fire Services Property Levy on each one?
Primary production properties consisting of multiple contiguous (ie. adjoining) land parcels but valued as a single property for rates purposes will be treated as a single property for the purposes of the FSPL. In this case, one fixed charge and one variable charge will apply to the property.
Where a Single Farm Enterprise is conducted on several farm properties, only one fixed charge component of the FSPL is payable for that farm enterprise. The variable charge will be still be payable for each property within that farm enterprise. There must be no more than one property containing a principal place of residence within the Single Farm Enterprise.
To apply for the Single Farm Enterprise Exemption, please complete and return the Single Farm Enterprise Exemption Application Form. If your Single Farm Enterprise consists of properties within various municipalities, a copy of the completed form must be sent to each of the relevant Councils.
What if I can't pay the Fire Services Property Levy?
Payment of the current balance owing on your rates notice (ie. excluding any arrears, interest or legal fees) is divided proportionally between Council rates and charges and the FSPL. If you are experiencing difficulties in paying the rates, charges and levies as shown on your rates notice, please contact the Council immediately to discuss payment options, or download and complete a Payment Plan form. These enquiries are treated confidentially, and early communication from you may help to prevent the commencement of costly legal action for recovery of outstanding rates.
If a property owner does not pay their FSPL, councils are expected to take the same steps to recover outstanding amounts that they would for outstanding Council rates and charges. This may include charging interest and/or initiating legal action.
What if I have questions or concerns?
If you have concerns about the removal of the insurance-based levy from your insurance premium, please contact your insurer in the first instance. If you are not satisfied, call the Office of the Fire Services Levy Monitor on 1300 300 635 or visit the Fire Services Levy Monitor website.
If you have questions relating to the introduction of the FSPL, the funding of the MFB and CFA, or other general questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the Fire Services Property Levy website. The FAQ document is available in a variety of languages.
If you disagree with the rating valuations or the AVPCC (Australian Valuation Property Classification Code) as shown on your rate notice (or on other grounds as specified in the Valuation of Land Act 1960), you may lodge an objection. Objections must be lodged within two months of the date of notice as shown on your annual rate notice or supplementary valuation notice, and should be submitted on the prescribed form. Please note that the land use classification as shown on your rate notice is determined under the provisions of the Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012. The land use classification allocated to a property for levy purposes is a non-reviewable decision: in other words, you may object to the AVPCC as shown on your rate notice, but not to the land use classification. Refer to our Valuations page for objection forms and further information relating to objections.
For further explanation of what the AVPCC on your rates notice means, you may download a list of the current AVPCCs.
Updated for 2015/2016