Understanding the Fire Services Levy
In 2013, the State Government directed all Victorian councils to collect a Fire Services Property Levy in conjunction with council rates.
Although this levy appears on rates notices, it is not a Council charge for Council services.
It replaces the existing fire services levy charged by insurance companies in your home insurance premiums.
How much will the Fire Services Property Levy cost?
The Fire Services Property Levy will comprise a fixed component of $105 for residential properties and $213 for non-residential properties, plus a variable component based on a percentage of the capital improved value (CIV) of the property.
The State Government has advised a variable component of 5.9 cents per $1,000 of the CIV for residential properties. This would work out to a total contribution of $152.20 for a property worth $800,000.
A concession will be available to some Department of Veterans Affairs gold card holders and Pensioner Concession Card holders.
To calculate how much your Fire Services Property Levy contribution will be, you can use the online calculator available on the Fire Services Property Levy website.
You can read more about the Fire Services Levy at http://www.firelevy.vic.gov.au/
We have also included some frequently asked questions and answers below.
The Minister for Finance is responsible for the levy. The Minister for Consumer Affairs is responsible for the Fire Services Levy Monitor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fire Service Levy?
The Fire Services Levy is a charge passed on from insurance companies to policy holders to contribute to the cost of operating the Melbourne Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority.
How did the levy change?
A Fire Services Property Levy came into effect on 1 July 2013. Under this levy, people with insurance against fire no longer pay a levy through their premiums.
Instead, all property owners, even those who are uninsured, pay a new property-based level with their Council rates.
Property owners first received notice of their Fire Services Property Levy in the 2013-14 year.
Why did the levy change?
The new Fire Services Property Levy is being delivered by the State Government as part of recommendations made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
The Royal Commission found that the current system was inequitable, lacked transparency and discouraged some owners from insuring, or fully insuring, their property due to the additional cost the levy imposed on premiums.
When will insurance companies stop charging a fire services levy?
Any insurance policy with a start or renewal date on or after 1 July 2013 should not include a fire services levy.
If you are concerned that your insurance premium includes a Fire Services Levy, please contact the Fire Services Levy Monitor.
What is the Fire Services Levy Monitor?
The Fire Services Levy Monitor is an independent regulator that monitors the insurance industry to make certain that insurers do not inappropriately charge consumers the Fire Services Levy.
The monitor receives and investigates complaints from consumers. For more information about the Fire Services Levy Monitor:
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