Rates FAQs

General Rate and Valuation 2020–2021 FAQ’s 

What do my rates pay for?

Council rates fund the local essential services and infrastructure which benefits the whole community. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Aged and disability services                                                            
  • Arts, culture, community centres and libraries
  • Child, youth and family Care
  • Community buildings
  • Community grants
  • Drainage and local roads
  • Economic and business development initiatives
  • Events and festivals

Capital works, including new infrastructure, maintenance and redevelopment 

How are rates calculated?

Your Rates are based on two variables, the rate in the dollar, and the valuation of your property.

The formula for calculating rates is: Capital Improved Value (CIV) x Rate in the dollar = Rate payable

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For example:

CIV of the residential property = $A
Rate in the dollar for residential properties = B cents
A x B = $the rates you pay

How is the Rate in the Dollar calculated?

  • Every year, Councillors, CEO and Finance Team review costs, expenditure and needs of the Council and set a rate in the dollar for residential, industrial and commercial properties.
  • The rate in the dollar is then multiplied by the value of a property (CIV) to establish the General Rate amount to be paid by each property owner. See image below. 

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  • General rates are added to any municipal garbage charges set by a council and the Fire Service Levy to determine the total rates payable on a property.
  • Rising property values usually result in the adjustment by Council of a lower rate in the dollar to offset the overall increase in property values.
  • Councils don't collect extra rate revenue as a result of a revaluation. A revaluation does not increase the total amount of money a Council collects in rates — it redistributes the amount of rates payable by individual properties.

Fees and Charges

What is the Municipal Charge?

The municipal charge for 2020/2021 is $166.40. This flat charge is applied to each rateable property, irrespective of the valuation.

What does the Municipal Charge cover?

Administrative costs to operate Council, including Asset Management, Information Systems, Corporate Records, Human Resources and Governance Services.

How is the Municipal Charge calculated?

Municipal Charge increase annually at the same level of rate percentage increase. 

Why has the Garbage Charge increased?

Because annual waste collection and disposal service costs have increased, as has the Victorian Government’s landfill levy for waste disposed at landfill sites.

The recycling costs have increased due to China announcing it will no longer accept imported recycling materials.

Please note:

  • Garbage charges are not subject to rate capping.
  • The waste charge is based on the size and type of bin.

Previous Years and Current Years Bin Charges

                                           2019/2020                   2020/2021

Residential 120L bin          $380.20                          $399.00

Residential 80L bin             $302.70                         $317.70

Green Waste 240L              $145.50                         $150.20

What is the Fire Services Property Levy?

  • On 1 July 2013, the Victorian Government introduced a property based levy to fund the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA). This Fire Services Property Levy replaces the previous insurance-based funding model as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission following on from the 2010 Black Saturday tragedy.
  • The Fire Services Property Levy applies to all rate assessments property (land and buildings) and includes a fixed component as well as a variable charge assessed on the capital improved value (CIV) of the property. There are different levy rates depending on the location of the property and the property type.
  • The levy is collected by local Councils annually and if you are currently receiving a Pension Rebate off your Council Rates you will automatically receive a rebate of the Fire Service Levy as determined by the State Government.
  • The FSL charges are State Government charges and are calculated and advised to all Councils on an annual basis.
  • Council is the collection agency on behalf of the State Government and all income raised from this Levy are passed to the Victorian Government.

Valuations

What is a valuation?

A valuation is an assessment of the value of a property at a specific date (the current revaluation is based on the levels of property value as at 1 January 2019). 

Valuations are conducted by a qualified Valuer.  The value of each property is based upon property sales, which have occurred around the date of valuation, the quality and condition of the property, taking into consideration any improvements.

How often are valuations undertaken?

The Valuer-General Victoria is now responsible for the undertaking of valuations (for Council rates, fire services levy and land tax purposes) in Victoria.  These valuations are now undertaken annually whereas previously they were undertaken every two years.

Why has it changed?

To more accurately reflect any recent change/trends in values. Centralising the valuation function with the Valuer-General also improves efficiency, consistency, transparency and cost effectiveness.

How will the change affect my rates?

Revaluations do not impact on Council’s revenue. A revaluation simply informs the amount each property contributes to Council’s overall rate income.

Why has my Valuation decreased while my rates have increased?

The revenue that Council need for running the municipality is divided into the total assessed CIV of all rateable properties. This establishes a ‘rate in the dollar’ to be applied to each property.

The result of this could be that your CIV has decreased but the rate in the dollar has increased by a higher proportion. This will result in an overall increase in the rates for those properties

Please note: Ensure you are not adding the Site Value and the Capital Improved Value together which is a common misconception

Why are revaluations done?

The Valuation of Land Act 1960 states that the Valuer-General Victoria shall be the Valuation Authority for the State of Victoria.

The Act also states that there will be a revaluation all rateable properties within the municipality on a yearly cycle.  All properties in Victoria are revalued at the same date.

Revaluations ensure that both the Council and the Victorian Government recognise the changes that occur in the property market, both positive and negative, and that these changes are reflected in the level of rates or land tax a landowner will pay

Does a revaluation cause rate rises?

Increased property values do not increase the total amount of money a Council collects in rates — it redistributes the amount of rates paid between individual properties.

Some ratepayers will pay more and some will pay less, depending on the new value of their property relative to other properties in their municipality. The Council budget determines how much a council requires in rates to operate the municipality

Can I object to a valuation?

Yes. Information about lodging an objection is listed on the back of your notice. Objections need to be in writing and lodged with the Valuation Authority within two months of the issue date listed on your notice. 

The property market has declined – why hasn’t my valuation decreased?

  • Valuations are conducted on 1 January each year. 
  • These valuations are based on sales activity leading up to and close to this relevant date.

If you disagree with your valuation you can lodge an objection within two months of the issue date listed on your notice. See back of notice for details.

I own properties in other municipalities, why are the rates different?

Each Council has different financial requirements to fund new infrastructure projects, deliver services and maintain existing assets

Valuations also differ across suburbs within a municipality.

What does Date of Valuation mean?

This is the date the valuation is based on.  The current valuation figures are valued as at 1 January 2020 and become effective from 1 July 20209 for the 2020/2021financial year.

What is the Effective Valuation Date?

This is the date the valuation was first used for rating purposes.

The property market has declined, why hasn't my Valuation decreased?

It is important to remember that even if the property market has declined, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your property valuation will decrease.

This is because rates notices are issued 8 months after the Valuation date (1 January) and while the market can change a lot during this time, your Valuation is based on property sales leading up to the Valuation Date. 

So if the property market prices decline after 1 January in any year, this will have no impact on the property Valuations that have already been made.

This is consistent for all Victorian councils. 

Rate Capping

What is rate capping?

Rate Capping was introduced by the Victorian Government on 1 July 2016 and limits the amount Council can increase its overall income from rates each year.

Can Council raise total rate income beyond the rate cap?

Council can apply to the State Government for an exception to the rate cap, however Council has meet the mandated 2 per cent cap.  

What is the rate cap for 2020–2021?

The Victorian Government has set the rate cap at 2 per cent – which Council has not exceeded.

Why have my rates increased more than 2 per cent compared to last year if the rate cap is set at 2 per cent?

Rate capping only applies to the General Rate and the Municipal Charge.  The rate cap does not apply to other charges such as waste collection or the Fire Service Levy.

The Victorian State Government requires that properties are revalued and Councils must use these values to determine how much each property contributes via rates. 

Rate percentage increase is dependent on any movement in property values since the last valuation.

The 2 per cent rate cap is applied to the total annualised rates income from the previous year (2019–2020), and is not the percentage increase for each individual rateable property.

Why has my Valuation decreased while my rates have increased?

The revenue that Council need for running the municipality is divided into the total assessed CIV of all rateable properties. This establishes a ‘rate in the dollar’ to be applied to each property.

The result of this could be that your CIV has decreased but the rate in the dollar has increased by a higher proportion. This will result in an overall increase in the rates for those properties

Please note: Ensure you are not adding the Site Value and the Capital Improved Value together which is a common misconception

Paying your rates

How can I pay my rate during COVID-19?

A list of payment options is available on the front of your annual notice.

Financial hardship

I cannot pay my rates on time. What are my options?

Apply for an Arrangement to Pay 

If you're experiencing financial difficulty or you don't believe you will be able to make your upcoming rates payment, you can apply for an Arrangement to Pay. An Arrangement to Pay is a mutually acceptable rates payment plan which allows you to make weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments that suit your budget and ensure that your rates are paid by the end of the financial year.

Rate Relief Waiver

Eligible owner-occupiers can apply for a once-off $200 Job Seeker Rates Relief Waiver as part of Council’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package.

For further information please visit our Financial Hardship page.

Questions and concerns  

I have questions about my notice and your customer service centres are closed due to COVID-19. How can I contact you?

By email: info@frankston.vic.gov.au

Via our website Live Chat service: frankston.vic.gov.au

By telephone: 1300 322 322

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