Rates 2017-2018 FAQs

How much are my rates this year?

Council has proposed to increase rates by an average of 3.5% across the board but the exact amount will be known to you when you receive your rates notice. The average residential rates for the Town are $1,664 (including waste services).

Why has it increased?

In order to be financially sustainable and maintain the level of services the community needs and expects, the Town has increased its rates by an average of 3.5%. To meet costs and remain operational without cutting back on services, the Town needs to have a certain figure of revenue. Taking into consideration all factors, including increased costs and other forms of revenue, the Town identified that it would need to increase rates revenue by 3.5% from last year.

This year is a revaluation year, meaning the Valuer-General sets a new Gross Rental Value (GRV) for properties in the Town. When GRV decreases (as in this year) it is necessary to increase the rate in the dollar to make up the shortfall to meet the overall figure of a 3.5% increase.

The Town has considered many factors while setting the rate including the current economic climate, and community factors including property prices. In recent years, many operating costs including utilities (water, power) and products (bitumen), for example, have increased more than the rate of inflation. While CPI is a good general economic indicator, it is not a great reflection of the true costs incurred by local governments.

As the Town’s population grows, it is true that we receive more rate revenue. However, we also have an increased demand for services, higher usage of our roads, parks, and public buildings and this leads to more maintenance and service provision. We have a vision to provide exceptional and innovative services, and were made aware of our community’s service level expectations through Evolve. We need the resources to provide these services.

How is the GRV determined?

All GRVs within your local council are assessed at the same date of valuation. Rental evidence is collected at that date and used to determine the fair rental value for each property. The rental value for a house will be influenced by factors such as age, construction, size, car shelters, pools and location. By analysing property rents against their individual attributes and characteristics it is possible to assess a valuation for all properties, whether they are rented or not.

While land used for residential purposes is valued on its rental value, land used for other purposes having a relatively low rental value in comparison to its capital value may be valued on a percentage of its capital value as if it were vacant land.

The Gross Rental Value (GRV) of my property has changed - why is this?

GRVs are currently assessed every three years in the Perth Metropolitan Region. This year is a revaluation year, meaning the Valuer-General sets a new Gross Rental Value (GRV) for properties in the Town.

The new GRVs set are based on the property market as at 1 August 2015, being the date of valuation determined by the Valuer-General. The Perth rental market, in general, has fallen since the date of valuation, therefore, it is likely that in many cases the rental value of properties will be lower than that disclosed by the GRV. This is on the basis that there is little if any further change in the market over the period.

What do I do if I think my GRV is too high?

You can object to the GRV subject to meeting the requirements outlined below.

  • Your written objection is sent within 60 days of the rates notice being issued.
  • You provide grounds and supporting reasons which might include:
    • rental evidence at or around the date of valuation which shows the GRV of your property to be too high.
    • examples which show your GRV is significantly higher than similar properties within your local area.

Objecting to the GRV because you consider your rates notice or the increase in rates is too high are not valid reasons and the objection will not be accepted.

For information about your land valuation visit Landgate’s website or call (08) 9273 7373.

Does the Town have differential rates – what are they?

In 2014 the Town introduced differential rating for the first time. In simple terms, differential rates mean that there is a different rate for different groups e.g. residential, commercial and industrial. In 2014 differential rates were introduced as a result of the State’s Valuer General determining that residential property values in the area had increased by 26% as opposed to commercial (14%) and industrial (15%).

Local Government rates are tied to the determination by the State’s Valuer General.  Without the introduction of differential rates the necessary rates increase would have burdened residential property owners significantly more.

In 2014 the Town had three rates categories – residential, commercial and industrial. We now have two categories – residential and non-residential.

What if I own a vacant block of land?

The Town investigated the possibility of introducing a differential rate for vacant land in 2015. There was a discussion of increasing the rate for vacant land significantly to encourage development. It has been decided that this may be something that Council looks at introducing in the future after appropriate consultation with the community.

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

Local Governments are required to collect the Emergency Services Levy on behalf of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). The levy funds Fire and Rescue Brigades, the State Emergency Service and multi‑function DFES units.

For information about the ESL and why is charged visit the DFES website  or call 1300 136 099.

Where can I see a copy of the Town’s budget?

A copy of the Town’s Budget is available on the Town’s website(PDF, 1MB) at or in person at the Administration Centre and Library.

How can I get more information about the budget?

Call the Town on (08) 9311 8111 to speak to someone about the budget.

There is also a Rates Q&A scheduled live on Facebook on Thursday 20 July at 6pm. The Director Business Life, Nathan Cain will be answering rates-related questions.