Frequently Asked Questions

What are differential Rates?

Differential rates mean there is a different rate in the dollar for different groups i.e. residential, commercial and industrial.

The reason for them is so one group isn’t burdened by rate increases more significantly than others.

How are my rates calculated?

Rates are calculated based on Gross Rental Value (GRV) which is supplied by the Valuer Generals Office. The GRV is the annual rental valuation of the property.

Where the property is vacant land, an equivalent GRV, based on 5% of the property value, is used.

The calculation of rates is worked:

  • GRV x rate in the dollar (8.386 cents for 23/24 financial year) = residential rates.
  • GRV x rate in the dollar (1.3953 cents for 23/24 financial year) = Emergency Services Levy.
  • Minimum rate: $1,256
  • Late payment penalty interest: 8%
  • Instalment administration fee: $36
  • Instalment interest: 4%

The Town's rate in the dollar is determined when Council sets its annual budget. Prior to adopting the budget, there is a public comment period to give residents and ratepayers an opportunity to express their views about the proposed budget.

The rates you pay are a proportionate share of what is needed by Council to provide local services and facilities.

Gross Rental Value Explained 

Gross Rental Value is the gross annual rental income that a property might reasonably be expected to earn annually if it were rented. This figure is provided to us by Landgate.

Every three years Landgate undertakes a major review of all GRVs which is this year.

The calculation of the GRV for a residential property is based on many factors, including:

  • location
  • age and size of the property
  • additional facilities (including carports or below ground pools)
  • proximity to services (schools, public transport, shops etc.)

We use the GRV of your property to calculate the rate in the dollar which, multiplied by your GRV, gives us your final rate amount.

To find out more about Gross Rental Valuation click on the link below. 

Gross Rental Valuations - Landgate

What can make my rates increase?

Your rates can increase if Council requires more funds to provide local services and or facilities. For example, if it builds new facilities, adds services or implements new initiatives.

Rates can also increase if your property increases in potential rental value faster than others in your area. For example, if you make improvements to your home that increase its rental value then your share of rates will increase.

Council budgets and consequently funds required through rates are also affected by changes made by other sectors of government. For example, if the state government increases its charges for power and water, or adds to the street lighting, that increase in cost will need to be met by councils.

What is the emergency services levy?

The state government requires councils to collect the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) from ratepayers.

The ESL funds Western Australia's fire and emergency services, including career fire stations, volunteer fire brigades, State Emergency Service units, the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service and the multi-purpose Volunteer Emergency Service units.

The ESL is included on your local government rates notice. It is printed as a separate line item, clearly identified as the 'Emergency Services Levy'. Local Governments collect the levy on behalf of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA). All funds collected are forwarded directly to FESA, which then redistributes the money to the emergency services throughout the state.

If you have any queries about the ESL, please contact FESA head office on 1300 136 099 or visit their website.

The funds raised go to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The funds do not go to councils and the rate charged is not set by councils.

When are my rates due?

Notices Issued Due Date
Main mailout Wednesday 16th August 2023 Wednesday 20th September 2023
Second Installment 17th October 2023 Wednesday 22nd November 2023
Third Installment 14th December 2023 Wednesday 24th January 2024
Fourth Installment 20th February 2024 Wednesday 27th March 2024

Do pensioners get a discount on rates?

Pensioners with a valid seniors or concession card have been entitled to rate reductions depending on their status on council rates, water charges and the Emergency Services Levy.

On 1 July 2016, the state government capped the rebate to pensioners at 50% of their rates up to $750.

Do I have to pay my rates all at once?

We understand that sometimes people experience financial hardship which makes it difficult to meet all of their financial commitments when they are due.

Please contact the Town’s rates department to arrange a suitable payment arrangement to settle your rates by the end of the financial year.

How can I get more information about the budget?

A copy of the budget is available in the Annual Budget section of the website or alternatively you can call 9311 8111 to speak to one of the Town’s Finance officers.

How much will my rates increase this year?

On average rate payers should see an increase of 5.9% on last year's rates.

What do I get for my rates?

Income generated from rates is used to provide services run from facilities such as the library, leisure centres as well as community development programs such as events, public art programs and safety initiatives.

Your rates also helps to provide essential services such as waste collection and is used for maintaining and improving the Town’s infrastructure such as parks, roads, footpaths and drainage and provide services relating to environmental health, animal control, local business support.

How do my rates compare to other local governments?

It is not reasonable to compare rates (and rate rises) with other councils as each council is unique in growth, services, and residential property versus commercial property ratios.

The majority of local governments have already indicated an increase in rates this financial year.

How does the state and federal government impact the Council budget? 

Increased cost shifting and legislation from state government means increased administration costs for councils to facilitate the collection of fees for various services and rebates. If the state government increases the cost of power, water and other utilities, these costs are passed on to you via rate increases.

All councils also rely on and compete for additional funds from the state and federal government through assistance grants and funding bid opportunities. Without these we would not be able to implement large scale infrastructure projects or subsidise health and safety initiatives such as installing CCTV cameras.

How reliant is Council on rate revenue?

Around 76% of Council’s operating revenue budget is met through rate revenue.

What if I can't pay my rates?

A payment arrangement can be made if you are unable to pay in full or by instalments. 

The Town has also adopted a Financial Hardship Policy. Please contact the Rates Team to discuss your options. 

I have not paid my rates, what do I need to do?

If you have not yet paid your bill or if you have any concerns, please contact our Rates team on 9311 8111 or email rates@vicpark.wa.gov.au who can help you. 

Why do I have an underground power charge on my rates notice?

If you own property in a SUPP 6 or NRUPP Underground Power area and you have an underground power service charge showing (raised under the local government act 1995) it is to help pay for the undergrounding of power lines in your area. 

I recently contacted the Town and updated my details and payment options, but, my rates notice still shows the first rates information.

If you have updated your details or made changes to your underground payment plan, that aren’t reflected in this new notice, it is likely that your details have been updated but were made after we sent the notice data to our printer to meet our deadline.

You can confirm by contacting our Rates team on 9311 8111 or email rates@vicpark.wa.gov.au who will be able to help you. 


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