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Property owners pay an annual levy via council rates to support emergency services.

The fire services property levy is collected by local councils and usually appears on your rate notice. The levy is collected from non-rateable properties via a separate notice.

We monitor the performance of councils as they collect the levy on behalf of the Victorian Government.

How is the levy calculated?

The levy is calculated using the following formula:

  • Levy = fixed charge + variable charge – concession (if eligible) 

Fixed charge

The fixed charge is different for residential and non-residential classified properties and increases annually based on the consumer price index.

Variable charge

The variable charge depends on the property’s classification and capital improved value (variable charge = variable rate × capital improved value).

Location

Prior to 1 July 2020, different variable rates applied depending on whether your property was in an area serviced by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) or the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

From 1 July 2020, it does not matter where your property is located. The same rate applies to properties in the same property classification, wherever they are in Victoria.

Property classification

This describes the primary use of your land and each classification has its own rate. There are 6 property classifications:

  1. residential (including residential vacant land)
  2. commercial
  3. industrial (also includes infrastructure and extractive properties)
  4. primary production
  5. public benefit
  6. vacant (excluding vacant residential land).

The land use classification for your property is on your rate notice or the levy assessment notice issued to non-rateable property owners.

Capital improved value

The capital improved value is the value of your land, buildings and any other capital improvements made to the property. It is determined by the general valuation process and displayed on your council rate notice.

View levy rates

Calculate your levy

Paying the levy

Your council, which collects the levy through rate notices, must allow you to pay the levy in four instalments.

Refer to your council rate notice for payment details.

Concessions 

Holders of pensioner concession cards and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Cards (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated and War Widows) receive a $50 concession on their home (principal place of residence). Only one concession applies per property per year.

If you believe you are entitled to a concession and have not received it, you need to contact your local council.

Exemption

You can apply for an exemption if you own or occupy multiple parcels of farmland which are used for a single farm enterprise.

Eligible single farm enterprises may only need to pay the fixed charge once for the farm property. If you think you are eligible, contact the local council in which your farm land is located and request a single farm exemption application form.

Objections

You cannot object to the levy, but you can object to the valuation, and the Australian Valuation Property Classification Code (AVPCC), of your property. Contact your local council for more information.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Last modified: 29 May 2024

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