Common Rates Questions

What’s new on the Rates Notice this year?

This year the Valuation and Rates Notice includes the Australian Valuation Property Classification Code (AVPCC).  An AVPCC is allocated to each property by the valuer (appointed by Valuer-General Victoria) according to the use of the land – e.g. house, shop, farm.  The land use classification is then used to calculate the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL).  If you disagree with the AVPCC assigned to your property you have a right to lodge an objection within 60 days. Please contact us immediately to discuss your objection, or learn more by visiting www.latrobe.vic.gov.au/objections.

If you would like to provide feedback on the notice or have suggestions for how we communicate with you about your rates in the future, please contact the Property and Rates team.

How do you calculate my rates?

Rates are calculated by multiplying together two numbers: the rate in the dollar declared by Council in the annual budget and the capital improved value of your property.

To learn more, read our Rates and charges explained page.

Why are my rates in Latrobe higher than in the metropolitan area?

The lower population density and larger land area of regional Councils mean that property rates are often higher in regional areas. This means that the distribution of service costs is shared across a smaller number of households in regional areas than is often the case in metropolitan areas. This remains a common challenge for all regional communities.

Can I have an extension to pay my rates?

If you are experiencing difficulty paying your rates by the due date, please contact the Property and Rates team to discuss alternate arrangements. Keeping Council informed of your circumstances may help to avoid incurring additional costs and legal action.

What do rates pay for?

Rates fund the infrastructure and services we enjoy as a community such as roads, footpaths, libraries, parks and gardens, recreation facilities, child care centres and waste disposal.

Remember that, similar to other taxes, Council rates are a tax rather than a direct fee for service, and contribute to making our municipality a clean, safe and liveable environment for everyone.

Also, read our Annual Budget to learn how we intend to spend your rates in the financial year ahead.

How is my property valued?

When and how is my property valued?

Your property is revalued every two years by an independent valuer appointed by the Valuer-General of Victoria.

The last valuation occurred in early 2016. The next valuation will occur in 2018.

Learn more about how valuation works.

What if I disagree with my valuation?

If you believe your property has been incorrectly valued, you have a right to lodge an objection within 60 days of your Rates Notice issue date.

Learn more about objecting to your property valuation.

What is the Municipal Charge?

The municipal charge is part of the rates levied by Council and is intended to help distribute some of the administrative costs of running Council in a more equitable way, ensuring that every ratepayer contributes a reasonable amount toward these costs. 

If there were no municipal charge, the rate in the dollar would be higher for everyone.

Learn more about rates and charges.

How is Farm land classified and who can apply?

For the purpose of Council rates and charges, farm land is defined as land which is:

  • no less than 2 hectares in area (4.94 acres or 20,000 square metres) and
  • used primarily for commercial farming activity (that is, operates as a business seeking to make a profit on a repetitive basis, and has a reasonable prospect of making a profit), and the land is being used for grazing, dairying, raising animals for commercial purposes, growing crops, etc.

To apply for to have your land assessed for reclassification as farm land, your land must meet the above criteria and you must be classified by the Australian Tax Office as a Primary Producer.

If you believe you may be eligible for reclassification, please contact the Property and Rates team to discuss your application.

If you are eligible to receive the farm rate, the classification will be reviewed every two years to coincide with the revaluation year. The next revaluation will be as at 1 January 2018.

What benefits are available for land classified as Farm land?

Land classified as Farm land is subject to a lower rate in the dollar.

Also, if you are operating a single farming enterprise across multiple parcels of land, you may only be required to pay the Fire Services Property Levy fixed charge once and if all your parcels of land are in Latrobe you may only be required to pay one municipal charge. If you believe you may be eligible for an exemption, obtain an exemption application(PDF, 473KB) and return the completed form to Council.

Why have my total rates increased more than the rate cap?

The rate cap applies to the total average rates collected by Council, not to individual rates notices.  The rate cap for this financial year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018) is 2%. This means that Council cannot exceed the 2% rate cap in the amount of revenue they collect.  But how much each property owner pays depends on the value of their property.

Therefore, in a revaluation year if your rates increase by more than the advertised rate cap, compared with last year, this is likely because the value of your property increased more than the average property value in the municipality.

Also, be aware that the rate cap applies to General Rates, Farm Rates, and the Municipal Charge only, waste charges and the Fire Services Property Levy are excluded from the rate cap.

For more information, watch this video or visit www.delwp.vic.gov.au/fairgorates

What is the Fire Services Property Levy?

Council is required to collect the Fire Services Property Levy on behalf of the Victorian State Government to help fund the Country Fire Authority. The levy includes a fixed charge payable by all property owners, plus a variable levy which is calculated based on your land classification and Capital Improved Value of your property.

Learn more about the Fire Services Property Levy.

What is a Supplementary Notice?

A supplementary notice is issued when there has been a change to the property which changes its value, such as construction or alteration to a building, shed or pool, etc.

The improvement may not have occurred recently, but may have happened in previous years and is only now being incorporated into the value of your property

Examples of improvements include:

  • Renovations
  • Construction of new buildings, including sheds, granny flats, or other structures.
  • Construction of pools or other recreational amenities
  • Landscaping

How do I get a refund?

To obtain a refund, please submit a rates refund application.