Most property owners pay an annual levy via their council rates to help fund Victoria’s fire and 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, which we then pass on to the Victorian Government.
How is the levy calculated?
The levy comprises two parts:
- a fixed charge, and
- a variable rate.
From 1 July 2020, the variable rate is based on the property's:
- classification, and
- capital improved value.
For the financial years prior to 2020-21, the location of a property also affected the variable rate.
The levy is calculated using the following formula:
- Fixed charge + (variable rate x capital improved value ) – concession (if eligible) = Levy
This increases annually based on the consumer price index and is different for residential and non-residential properties.
The rate varies depending on the property’s location, classification and capital improved value.
From 1 July 2020, it no longer matters where your property is located. The same rates apply to properties in the same property classification, wherever they are located in Victoria.
Prior to 1 July 2020, different rates applied depending on whether your property is in an area serviced by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) or the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
This describes the primary use of your land and each classification has its own rate. There are six property classifications:
- residential (including residential vacant land),
- industrial (also includes infrastructure and extractive properties),
- primary production,
- public benefit, and
- vacant (excluding residential vacant 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.
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.
You can apply for an exemption if you own or occupy multiple parcels of farm land 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.
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: 2 July 2020