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You must pay a levy on certain planning permit applications to accommodate Melbourne's rapid growth

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Melbourne is growing rapidly, with a projected population of up to 7.7 million by 2051. The scale of this expected growth requires strategic long-term planning under the guidance of the Victorian Planning Authority.

The metropolitan planning levy (MPL) is used to fund this authority and its Plan Melbourne initiative, a long-term strategy to accommodate Melbourne’s growth. Our role is to administer the levy under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

What is the levy?

You have to pay the levy if you want to apply for a planning permit on or after 1 July 2015 to develop land in metropolitan Melbourne where the estimated cost of the development is more than the levy threshold.

You cannot lodge your planning permit application with the responsible/planning authority without a current MPL certificate if the estimated development cost is more than the threshold. 

Estimated cost of development

The levy amount is calculated on the estimated cost of the development for which the planning permit is required. This cost is shown in the planning permit application form, which is also used by the responsible authority to calculate the permit application fees.

If your application for a planning permit is to subdivide land, you need to pay the levy if the subdivision involves development works for which a planning permit is required and the costs of tdevelopment exceed the levy threshold. If there are works associated with the subdivision of land which do not require a planning permit, the costs of these works should be excluded from the estimated development costs for levy purposes. 

You can read more information about estimated development costs for land subdivision in Planning Practice Note 82 (Applying the Metropolitan Planning Levy), issued by the Minister for Planning in May 2016.

Levy thresholds

The metropolitan planning levy threshold for the 2018-19 financial year is $1,052,000. This is adjusted  by CPI on 1 July each year. 

The levy does not apply to an application to amend a planning permit under s72 of the Act, even if the total estimated cost of development allowed by the amended permit  is more than the current threshold.

Affected areas

The levy applies to an application for a planning permit to develop land in metropolitan Melbourne, which is:

  • The area covered by the Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra and Yarra Ranges planning schemes.
  • The area within the urban growth boundary in the Mitchell Planning Scheme.

Levy rates

The levy is $1.30 for every $1000 of the estimated cost of the development.

If the estimated cost of the development is not a multiple of $1000, it will be rounded up or down to the nearest $1000. If the amount by which it is to be rounded is $500, it will be rounded up.

Example

The estimated cost of the development to which a permit application relates is $2,356,782. This is rounded up to $2,357,000 for the purpose of calculating the levy:

$2,357,000 ÷ $1000 = $2357.

The metropolitan planning levy is:

($2357 x $1.30) = $3064.10.

Apply for a levy certificate

You apply for a certificate by submitting a metropolitan planning levy application with us. In your application, you need to tell us the estimated cost of the development and other information.

The application form will tell you how much levy you need to pay based on the estimated development cost. When you submit your completed application, you must pay the levy by electronic funds transfer.

After we have received your payment and all the information we require, we issue you with a certificate, which will state the relevant information including the estimated cost of the development.

Increased development cost

If your planning permit application requires a metropolitan planning certificate, your application will only be accepted if the estimated cost of development stated in the certificate is equal to or greater than the estimated cost of the development stated in the planning permit application.

If the estimated cost of the development increases after you have received your certificate but before you apply for your planning permit, and your certificate has not expired, you can apply for a revised metropolitan planning certificate and pay the additional levy amount.

This additional payment is calculated on the increase in the estimated development cost.

Example

The original estimated cost of the development to which a permit application relates is $2,356,782.

This is rounded up to $2,357,000 for calculating the levy:

$2,357,000 ÷ $1000 = $2357.

The metropolitan planning levy is ($2357 x $1.30) = $3064.10.

A month after the levy was paid and a certificate issued, the estimated cost of the development increased by $200,000 before the planning permit application was lodged with the planning or responsible authority.

The additional amount of levy payable is:

($200,000 divided by $1000) x $1.30 = $260.

Revised certificate

You apply for a revised metropolitan planning levy certificate by submitting another application form telling us the increased estimated cost of the development and any other information we require. You then pay the additional levy amount.

Keeping records

You do not have to keep records for levy purposes, although you may want to keep a copy of the metropolitan planning levy certificate.

The planning or responsible authority must keep each certificate given to them for at least five years.

More about metropolitan planning levy certificates

Your privacy

We must not disclose information obtained in relation to administering the levy unless it is:

  • With the consent of the person to whom the information relates.
  • In connection with the administration of the levy.
  • In accordance with a requirement imposed under another Act.
  • To someone, or another organisation, who is authorised under legislation to receive it. Examples of authorised recipients are the Secretary to the Department of Treasury and Finance, the Secretary to the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, a relevant responsible authority, a relevant planning authority and a person prescribed to be an authorised recipient for the purposes of s96Y of the Act.
  • If the information will not, or is not likely to, identify a particular person.