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Rates information

Rates frequently asked questions

Why have my rates gone up?

The City has set its 2021/22 rate increase well below the forecast CPI of 1.75% and delivered a budget to support ratepayers and aid ongoing community and economic recovery from COVID-19.

Residential rates have increased in 2021/22 to ensure the City can continue to develop and maintain essential services, facilities and infrastructure for our residents.

The City has not raised rates beyond the minimum required to maintain services, infrastructure and facilities in the City.

 

What do my rates pay for?

Rates contribute towards free services provided by the City of Wanneroo for residents, including:

  • beach, park and playground management and conservation
  • children’s sports programs and activities
  • libraries
  • community transport
  • community safety and health programs
  • maintaining roads, cycle and walk ways and street lighting
  • animal control services
  • community facilities
  • emergency management.

Rates enable the City to invest in community infrastructure and programs that support our local sporting clubs, community groups and not-for-profit service providers, and make our community a better place for everyone to live, work and play.

 

Why isn't the City of Wanneroo providing a COVID-19 concession in 2021/22?

The City provided rates support during 2020/21 as some members of our community faced financial hardship due to the global pandemic. However, the one-off COVID-19 concession provided by the City in the 2020/21 Budget is estimated to cost the City approximately $230 million over the next 20 years.

As a growth council, community investment is essential to deliver new facilities and infrastructure, as well as maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure and services.

Residential rates make up approximately 69% of the income received by the City of Wanneroo. Not having that income would severely limit what the City is able to deliver for the community and could mean significant delays or deferrals to projects such as road upgrades, new playground equipment or footpath repairs. It could mean shorter opening hours at libraries and youth centres, parks being mowed less often, or delays in beach renourishment works.

Any or all of these would have a significant impact on our community as well as having budget implications in future years. Even if some projects can be delayed for one year, they cannot be delayed indefinitely and the funds will need to be found in future budgets.

 

How are you supporting local businesses?

The 2021/22 City of Wanneroo Budget continues to provide support to local businesses in the wake of COVID-19 impacts.

Over $250,000 has been allocated to programs that directly support local business including the Enterprise Fund (business grants and an economic development fund), business workshops and training, Cyber Check Me (providing cyber security support and awareness for business in collaboration with ECU) and event attraction. The budget also includes targeted business support initiatives for specific industries, such as agriculture and tourism.

An additional $30,000 has been allocated in the budget for implementing the Small Business Friendly Approvals project, in collaboration with the Small Business Development Corporation, which is targeting processes and support to make it easier for small businesses to obtain approvals. Through the initiative, the City has already identified the areas to be improved and the budget is for making the necessary changes.

Additionally, the City’s 2021/22 capital works program includes $69.5 million of new works that contribute to supporting the economy by generating work for local businesses and creating hundreds of jobs.

 

How are rates calculated?

Rates are calculated by multiplying a property’s Gross Rental Value (GRV) or Unimproved Value (UV) by the rate in the dollar set by Council, subject to minimum rates.

Gross Rental Value (GRV) is the fair rental value of your property as determined by the Landgate Valuer-General and is an estimate of how much you could expect to receive if you were to rent your property.

Properties used for non-rural purposes e.g. urban residential, commercial etc are valued using the GRV method.

Unimproved Value (UV) is the fair market value of your property as determined by the Valuer General’s Office and does not take into account any improvements on the land such as dwellings or outbuildings. Land used for rural purposes is valued using the UV method. 

Landgate determines individual property GRV or UV. This has nothing to do with whether your property is rented or not, it is just an independent valuation of your property.

 

Housing prices around me are decreasing, does that mean my property valuation will also decrease?

Not necessarily. Property valuations - Gross Rental Values (GRVs) and Unimproved Values (UVs) - are not directly linked to movements in the property market - only the value of your property in comparison with your neighbours. For example, someone with a two-bedroom home will pay a lesser share of rates than a neighbour with four bedrooms.

 

How is Gross Rental Value (GRV) calculated?

GRV is the fair rental value your property might reasonably be expected to earn annually if it were rented. When determining GRV of a residential property, the Valuer General (Landgate) consider several attributes and constraints including location, age, building area and construction materials, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and number of car shelters (garages/carports).

To find out more about GRV, visit landgate.wa.gov.au.

 

Is my property being re-valued this year?

No. The revaluation cycle is set by the State Government (Landgate).

City of Wanneroo properties were last valued in August 2018, with those valuations first applied to rates in the 2020/21 financial year. As it is a three-year cycle, new valuations will not be applied to rates for the 2021/22 financial year. 

More information on property valuations is available on the Landgate website

 

Can I object or appeal my property's valuation?

Your valuation (GRV or UV) is only one factor used to calculate your rates notice. The Valuation of Land Act 1978 (as amended) Part IV sets out the manner in which valuation objections and appeals may be lodged. A property owner may lodge an objection against the valuation of a property within 60 days of the date of issue of a rate notice.

For information on how your values are calculated and how to lodge an objection, please visit Landgate’s website landgate.wa.gov.au/valuations, or alternatively call Landgate Customer Service on +61 (0)8 9273 7373.

Section 6.76 of the Local Government Act 1995 provides the grounds, time and the way individual objections and appeals to the Rates Record may be lodged. An objection to the Rate Book must be made in writing to the council within 42 days of the date of issue of a rates notice.

Section 6.81 of the Local Government Act 1995 refers that rates assessments are required to be paid by the due date, irrespective of whether an objection or appeal has been lodged. In the event of a successful objection or appeal, the rates will be adjusted, and you will be advised accordingly. Credit balances may be refunded on request.

 

Why can’t the City of Wanneroo just cap the rate in the dollar?

Capping the rate in the dollar reduces the rates income available to the City and has a flow-on effect to the services and facilities that are available to the community. As you can see from the example in the table below, capping the rate in the dollar with a fall in the GRV means a significant reduction in the rates income.

Changes to the total GRV for the City of Wanneroo are not uniform across properties in the City – even if all property values go down, they will not all go down by the same percentage. As such the impact on individual properties varies, as does the effect on the rates. Capping the rate in the dollar does not result in the rates burden continuing to be fairly distributed across households and disproportionately benefits those who are least affected.

Rate in the dollar Home one Home two Home three Home four Rates income
GRV Rates GRV Rates GRV Rates GRV Rates
0.3333 $1000 $333.30 $600 $199.98 $500 $166.65 $900 $299.98 $1000
0.3333 $970 $323.30 $425 $141.65 $435 $144.98 $780 $259.97 $870
0.3831 $970 $371.61 $425 $162.82 $435 $166.65 $780 $298.83 $1000

 

Why are you funding capital works instead of cutting spending?

Stopping capital works would be short-sighted. As a growth council, the City of Wanneroo also has a responsibility to deliver new community facilities and infrastructure for an expanding population. Capital works projects stimulate our economy by creating local jobs and generating business.

 

Do I pay GST on my rates assessment?

GST is not payable on general rates, Waste Service charges, the Emergency Services Levy or the Pool Fence Inspection fee.

 

Why is waste listed as a separate charge?

This is not a new charge.

In light of increased costs to local landfill disposal in Western Australia, waste levy charges have been extracted from general rates to provide greater transparency of the cost of waste management and to ensure that waste costs are fully recovered, eliminating the need to subsidise this service through reductions in other projects or programs in the City. 

 

How is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) calculated?

The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) fee amount is not imposed by the City. It is set by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and funds Western Australia’s fire and emergency services, including Career and Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service brigades.

ESL charges are calculated based on numerous factors including the ESL category your property falls under and your property's Gross Rental Value (GVR) or Unimproved Value (UV).

The City collects these funds on behalf of DFES through its annual Rates notice and passes on all ESL money collected to DFES in full.

 

How do I pay online?

Go to our online payments page to pay online.

 

Can I make a payment arrangement?

Yes - please complete our rates payment arrangement form to request an arrangement.

 

I paid for an instalment of my rates, but I now have a final notice. Why is this?

If the exact amount of the rates first instalment was not paid in full (in one transaction) by the due date, then the owner will not have automatically been placed on the instalment option.  Please complete our rates payment arrangement form to request to pay by the four instalment option.

 

Do instalment options accrue interest and admin fees?

Yes, the instalment options and any additional charges are detailed on the front of your rates notice.

Instalment options include an administration charge of $5 for instalments two, three and four, and a lost potential interest rate of 3% pa.

Overdue instalment amounts will incur late payment interest of 5% for general rates and 7% for the Emergency Services Levy.    

Failure to make either the third or fourth payment by the due date will result in Council revoking your right to pay the balance of your rates by instalments and the remaining balance will then be due.

Any amounts outstanding after the due date may be recovered by legal action.

PLEASE NOTE: Any legal action undertaken by Council may result in additional expenses being incurred by the ratepayer.

Eligible pensioners are exempt from additional charges on their rebate portion only. The rebate is funded by the Government of Western Australia.

 

I've received a final notice but am unable to pay my rates by the due date. Can I set up a payment arrangement?

The City offers the opportunity to make a payment arrangement. Payments can be made on an agreed weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

Note: All payment arrangements are subject to interest and administration fees.

 

I've lodged an objection to my rates and have received a final notice. Do I have to pay?

Yes, rates must be paid as assessed by the due date irrespective of whether an objection has been lodged. Any reduction in rates as a result of a successful objection will be refunded. Interest shall begin to accrue on rates if they are not paid in full. The City will charge daily interest of 5% per annum on overdue amounts of general rates, service charges and legal fees outstanding, and daily interest of 7% per annum on overdue amounts of Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

 

I'm a pensioner, shouldn't my rates be discounted?

If you are a pensioner or senior, you can apply to receive a rebate or concession on charges for local government rates. For information about eligibility requirements and how to apply visit concessions.communities.wa.gov.au.

 

I can't afford to pay my rates. What can I do? 

If you are experiencing financial hardship, please call the City on 9405 5000 to discuss your eligibility for the City’s Financial Hardship Policy.

 

What if I change address?

It is the responsibility of the owner to advise Rating Services when a change of address takes place, which would prevent the effective service of the Rates Notice.

Please notify Council of your change of residential and/or mailing address by completing the form below.

 

What if the property changes ownership?

Under the provisions of Section 9.68 of the Local Government Act 1995, written notice must be given to the City within 21 days, whenever any person sells or otherwise disposes of any rateable land. Details of the description of the land and then name and address of the purchaser must be stated. 

Please notify Council of any changes to ownership of your property in writing if you have not engaged a Settlement Agent/Conveyancer to effect the sale or disposal of your property.

  • Contact us via our online form; or
  • Send a letter to City of Wanneroo, Locked Bag 1, WANNEROO WA 6946; or
  • Hand deliver a letter:
    - Civic Centre, 23 Dundebar Rd, Wanneroo. Mon-Fri between 8:30am and 5pm
    - Clarkson Library, 27 Ocean Keys Bvd, Clarkson. Tues-Fri between 9am and noon & 12:45pm and 5pm

 

Can I get a copy of my rates notice? 

If you require a copy of your rates notice you can request it.

Current years rates notices are free of charge, however if you require a previous years rates notice, there is an admin charge of $27 per notice.

Please note: if you require figures for tax purposes, we can provide these over the phone.