In July 2013, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the Victorian Government replaced the insurance-based Fire Services Levy with a property-based levy, the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL).
All property owners are required to pay the FSPL, including non-rateable properties.
Council will issue the 2016/17 Valuation and Rate Notice in August and each rates notice will include the FSPL as a separate charge.
Council is required to collect the FSPL on behalf of the state government.
What is the Fire Services Property Levy?The Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) is the method in which the state government collects necessary funding for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
The FSPL came into effect on 1 July 2013.
Why is Council collecting the FSPL?Council has been advised by the state government that Council is required to collect the FSPL on their behalf.
The state government believes that local councils have established links with property owners and through the annual rate notice Council already has the means to bill residents for the FSPL.
The FSPL must be listed on Council rate notices and collected by Council. All of the funds collected by Council must be paid to the state government by Council.
Who is required to pay the FSPL?All land and property owners are required to pay the FSPL. This includes non-rateable and small or low value properties.
Council is also required to pay the FSPL on Council owned property.
If a ratepayer is experiencing difficulties in paying their rates and levy, they can call the Rates Department on 9262 6292 to discuss alternative options.
Who is exempt from the FSPL?Only the state government sector, excluding local government, is exempt from paying the levy.
How much will I have to pay for the FSPL?There will be a fixed charge of $105 for residential properties and $213 for non-residential properties, plus a variable rate based on your property’s capital improved value listed on your rate notice.
I am receiving a pension concession on my rates, am I entitled to receive a concession on the FSPL?Yes. If you are entitled to receive a concession on your rates, it means you are also entitled to receive a concession on the levy. If you already receive a rate concession, you will automatically receive the concession on the levy. The FSPL concession is $50.
What happens if I do not pay the levy or only pay part of the levy?As the state government have said that the FSPL must be included in the rate notice, both portions need to be paid.
Should residents decide to only pay their rates and not the FSPL, whatever payment they make will be divided proportionately between their rates and the FSPL, thereby leaving both the rates and FSPL at a shortfall.
Note: interest will be charged on outstanding rates and levies and the normal debt recovery process will take place if they remain unpaid.
For more information, visit www.firelevy.vic.gov.au
Alternatively, phone Council on 9262 6333.
379-397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, Victoria 3131
Tel: (03) 9262 6333 Fax: (03) 9262 6490Email: firstname.lastname@example.org