In response to a recommendation from the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the State Government has made changes to the way it funds fire services in Victoria. From 1 July 2013, the Fire Services Levy will be removed from insurance premiums and replaced by a property-based levy collected with Council rates.
This means that any insurance policy taken out or renewed after 1 July 2013 will not include a fire services levy. If you believe your insurance company is charging you a fire services levy for policies starting or renewed after this date, you should contact the Fire Services Levy Monitor: www.firelevymonitor.vic.gov.au
Each Victorian Council has been appointed as a Collection Agency for the State Government and all funds collected will go to the State Government to support fire services. Refer to www.firelevy.vic.gov.au or call 13 21 61 for more information.
The Victorian State Government has set the 2015/2016 FSPL rates and charges for properties in Country Fire Authority (CFA) areas as follows:-
2015-2016 FIRE SERVICES PROPERTY LEVY
CENTS PER $1,000 OF CIV
Residential (including vacant residential land)
Public Benefit Non Council
Public Benefit Council Owned - All
Public Benefit Council Owned - Fixed Charge Only
Vacant Land (Non Residential)
Single Farm Enterprise
Where multiple parcels of farm land are used and operated as a single farm enterprise, a person may only be required to pay the fixed charge component of the Fire Services Property Levy once by applying for the Single Farm Enterprise Exemption on the application form, Application forms are also available from Council’s Customer Service Centre, 25 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat Central.
FSPL Frequently Asked Questions
What does it pay for? The Levy funds the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), based on the location of your property. All money collected in the City of Ballarat will help fund the CFA.
Is it a new tax? No, it’s just a new way to pay for these services. Until now, you paid a fire services levy with your home and contents insurance premium.
Why do I now pay this charge in my rates? The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission determined that the previous system was unfair, as people who didn’t insure, or underinsured, their properties were not paying their share. The State Government agreed and decided that this funding should be collected with rates notices.
What is the City of Ballarat’s role? The City of Ballarat will collect the Levy in our municipality and all money will go directly to the State Government.
Who pays the Levy? From 1 July 2013, all property owners, including businesses and households, will pay the Fire Services Property Levy, including the City of Ballarat and most other non-rateable organisations.
How much is the Levy? The Levy is made up of two parts: 1. A fixed charge of $104 for residential properties including vacant residential land, and $210 for non-residential properties. 2. Plus a variable charge based on the property's Capital Improved Value (as shown on your rate notice). In the City of Ballarat, the variable rate for residential properties is 14.4 cents per $1,000 of capital improved value.
How do I pay the Levy? The Levy is listed as a separate item on your rate notice and you can pay it in the same manner as your rates, including instalments.
Will there be any concessions? Yes, there is a $50 concession for eligible pensioners and veterans. Also, farmers with multiple properties that operate as a single enterprise will pay the fixed charge only once. Property owners who currently receive a Pensioner rate concession on their principal place of residence will automatically receive the FSPL concession.