Rates and Payments

Fire Services Property Levy

From 1 July 2013, the Fire Services Property Levy will be removed from insurance premiums and replaced by a property-based levy collected with council rates. This change means all property owners will contribute a fair share to funding our fire services.

How are Victoria’s fire services funded?

Prior to 1 July 2013, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority were funded by a Fire Services Levy that insurance companies applied to building and contents insurance premiums. The amount that policyholders were charged was at the discretion of the insurance companies.

Why is it being changed?

Under the old system, everyone received assistance from the State’s fire services, even though not everyone helped fund them. Also, many people paid more than their fair share. Finding the insurance-based levy unfair and lacking transparency, the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended replacing it with a property-based levy to make sure all Victorian property owners contribute a fair share.

How much will I contribute?

There will be a fixed charge of $105 for residential properties and $213 for non-residential properties, plus a variable cost based on your property’s capital improved value listed on your rates notice.

Will there be any concessions?

Yes, there will be a $50 concession for eligible pensioners and veterans. Also, farmers with multiple properties that operate as a single enterprise will pay the fixed charge only once.

How else is it fairer?

The change removes the unfair ‘tax on tax’ that saw GST and stamp duty charged on top of the levy. Together with the new concessions, this will save households and businesses approximately $100 million each year.

Where do the funds go?

All funds collected by councils will go to supporting Victoria’s fire services.

Do I still need insurance?

Yes. The Fire Services Property Levy is a levy imposed by government to fund the activities of the fire services.  The Levy does not cover people for any claims they may have resulting from a fire.  People need to take out appropriate insurance to cover any such claims.

For more information go to firelevy.vic.gov.au

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