Rates FAQs

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How are my rates calculated?

As required by legislation, Council has chosen to adopt the Capital Improved Valuation Base throughout the whole shire to determine rates. The Capital Improved Value on your property is calculated by a registered Valuer and takes into account the land value and any improvements including buildings, fences, sheds etc. This is then multiplied by the rate in the dollar applicable to your property, which is shown on your rate notice.

Calculate my rates

Who determines property values?

Property values are decided by professional valuers. They assess each property in line with Best Practice Guidelines laid down by the Valuer General.

What information is used to value a property?

A valuation is an assessment of the market value of a property, at a specific date and in accordance with relevant legislation and legal precedent.

Your property values are assessed using information such as:

  • market sales and rents
  • property type and
  • property features

Valuers build a profile of value levels for different locations and property types, guided by market sales and rental evidence.

Council’s appointed valuers collect market sale information each year and information about property rentals and expenses from owners and tenants. Under property sales law, councils must be notified of property sales.

Valuer’s also use building and planning permits and other public documents to gather information about each property within the municipality. If further information is needed, an information request or a property inspection may also be necessary.

Valuers have powers to obtain additional information and will usually request this information by mail. However, a valuer can enter a property ‘at any reasonable time’ and may request any information that will help make ‘a true and correct valuation’. This may be done, for example, where an internal property inspection is needed to ensure an accurate valuation. Inspections are arranged with owner/occupiers.

What if I do not agree with the valuation?

You can object to the valuation of your property, or to the classification place on your property. Either way, you'll need to fill out a form and send it in for us to investigate.

More on property valuation objections

Are there different rates for different types of property?

Yes. Council has implemented a general rate for improved residential properties. The differential rates are:

  • a farm rate (75% of the general rate);
  • a commercial rate (190% of the general rate);
  • a vacant residential land rate (200% of the general rate).

These different rates reflect council's expenditure in these sectors as well as council policy.
Tourism is an important economic activity in Surf Coast Shire. Council also collects a tourism special charge from affected properties, to help support tourism development in the Shire.

What do my rates pay for?

They pay for services which your property either uses directly or has access to, and which provide general benefit to the local community.

Your rates provide useful services in the community. Imagine a community without street signs, footpaths, local roads, school crossings, street sweeping, orderly planning, maternal and child health services, mobile library services, environmental programs, recreation reserves and park lands, public toilets, roadside slashing or fire prevention.

What is the municipal charge for?

The municipal charge helps pay the cost of Council's administration.

What is the garbage charge for?

The garbage charge is charged for collection of garbage, recyclables and green waste from your property, as well as disposal, sorting and recycling of waste as applicable. The garbage charge also funds the provision of waste and recycling infrastructure, including future rehabilitation of Council's landfill sites. The rural garbage charge is only levied against those choosing to use this service.
The garbage charge covers the contract cost of actual collection and the disposal of the garbage at Council's waste disposal sites.

The charge covers the full cost of providing the service all year round, regardless of the frequency of use.

What methods can I use to pay?

There are a few methods available to pay your rates (they are also on the back of your rates notice).

What if I know I cannot pay this instalment of my rates?

If you are experiencing financial difficulty paying your rates and charges, please contact the Council's Revenue Department on 5261 0600 to confidentially discuss alternative payment arrangements.

Read more on deferring your rates

If I am a Pensioner, can I get a rebate on my rates?

Yes, if you are the holder of an appropriate Concession Card (not a Health Card) you may be eligible for a rebate on your rates. You must be a permanent resident of the property for which you are seeking the rebate.
More on the pensioner rebate