The levy is a State Government charge that helps pay for the fire services provided by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA).
While we collect this property levy through your council Rates Notice, the money goes directly to the State Government, and not to us.
The levy will be clearly shown on your Rates Notice and, like your rates, you can pay it either annually or in instalments.
Why the levy was created
Insurance companies previously collected the Fire Services Property Levy through household insurance premiums.
The Victorian Government has introduced this levy in response to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission's recommendation to replace the old insurance-based levy with a new property-based levy.
Now all property owners - even those who do not have insurance - pay the property-based fire services levy.
This means that all property owners contribute to the cost of fire brigade services, not just those who have insurance.
Some properties that are exempt from paying Council rates - like schools, churches and some charities - also have to pay the levy.
Changes to your property insurance policy
If you have property insurance against fire, you will no longer pay a fire services levy through your insurance premium.
Any insurance policy with a start or renewal date on or after 1 July 2013 should not include a fire services levy.
Any insurer that charges a fire services levy after this date would be breaking the law.
How the levy is calculated
The Victorian Government has set the rates used to calculate the levy.
The levy will include a fixed charge of $105 for residential properties and $213 for non-residential properties plus a variable charge.
For example, the contribution value of a property valued at $500,000 in the City of Whittlesea, in a CFA area is expected to be $169 and in an MFB area, the contribution value is expected to be $134.50.
To find out more, visit the Fire Services Property Levy website, or call us on 9217 2170.