About your Rates

1. Overview

Yours rates are used to help fund services including:

  • Roads
  • Parks
  • Library services
  • Youth services
  • Community facilities
  • Health
  • Building control
  • Community events

Rates notices are issued in late August each year, and ratepayers are given the choice to pay in one, two or four instalments. Please refer to your rates notice for instalment due dates.

A newsletter explaining how your rates money is spent is included with your Rates Notice. Read the latest Budget Newsletter(PDF, 2MB)

2. How your rates are calculated

Rates are calculated by multiplying the Property Valuation (determined by the Valuer General) by the Rate in the dollar (a cent in the dollar amount set by Council) .  Yearly Fees such as the rubbish collection fee, swimming pool inspection fee and Emergency Services Levy are then added.

Property Valuation

The Valuer General is responsible for determining all property values in Western Australia. 

Property values are determined using their Gross Rental Value (GRV).

GRV is calculated by multiplying weekly rent (determined by the Valuer General) by the number of weeks of the year. The GRV of vacant land is calculated on the basis of 3 per cent of its capital/resale value.

The Valuer General also determines property values in City Beach and part of Floreat using their Unimproved Value (UV), as required under the Cambridge Endowment Lands Act 1920(PDF, 97KB) 

Unimproved Value means the value of the land as if it were vacant with no improvements.

Rate in the Dollar

Once the budget has been established and income from fees and charges and other sources taken into account, a rate in the dollar is determined to balance the budget.

Two models are used to value properties in the Town (GRV and UV), therefore Council sets two rates in the dollar to calculate rates.

Yearly fees

Waste Service - an annual charge for rubbish services for each property, which covers both weekly general household rubbish and fortnightly recycling collections.  For an additional annual charge a fortnightly green waste collection can be added to the service.

Emergency Services Levy - this levy is charged to all property owners in Western Australia to fund fire and emergency services.  Local governments collect the levy on behalf of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, who distribute the money to emergency services throughout the State.

Swimming Pool Inspection - this is an annual charge to applicable property owners to cover the cost of pool inspections carried out every four years.  If you no longer have a pool on your property please advise us on 9347 6000.

3. What factors affect the GRV?

The GRV is affected by factors such as location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, if the property has an ocean view or swimming pool, and the age of the building.

4. Rates in the Endowment Lands Area

If your property is in the Endowment Lands Area, your rates are calculated on the Unimproved Value of your property.

The Cambridge Endowment Lands Act(PDF, 97KB) requires the Town first calculate the total rates raised from properties within the ELA as if they were rated on a GRV basis, and then recalculate (reapportion) the rates using the UV of the property, to raise the same amount.

The effect of this recalculation using the UV is to reapportion the rates between neighbouring properties within City Beach and Floreat. The application of the UV methodology does not provide the Town with any more or any less rates.

The Valuer General provides the Town with an updated UV roll annually, which can cause fluctuations in the rates of individual properties.

5. The 2017 Revaluation of the Gross Rental Value

A state-wide general revaluation of the GRV of rateable properties is carried out every three years by the State Government's Valuer General.  The 2017/2018 rating year is a revaluation year for all properties across the Town.  This impacts the amount of rates that each individual property owner will pay. 

The graph below illustrates the change in gross rental values across the Town as a result of the property revaluation, with values falling in West Leederville and rising in City Beach.

Percentage-change-GRV.jpg

In the 2017/2018 annual budget, the Council effectively adopted a 0% rate increase in the total rate revenue from existing properties within the district. This means that any increase or decrease a property owner experiences in the amount of rates payable, is a reflection of the property revaluation.  The Town will not receive any more or less rate revenue as a result of the revaluation.

6. How often are properties valued? 

  • UV property values are reviewed every year
  • GRV properties are revalued every three years

7. What can you do if you don't agree with the value applied to your property? 

If you don't agree with the value determined for your property you can lodge an objection in writing within 60 days of issue to:

Landgate Valuation Services
PO Box 2222
Midland 6936

More information is available on the Landgate website.

Please note: You must pay your rates as assessed even if you have lodged an objection. If the valuation is amended a refund will be issued.

8. How is the ESL is calculated?

The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is calculated by multiplying a property's Gross Rental Value (GRV) by the ESL Category Rate in the dollar (as determined by Department of Fire and Emergency).

In the case of the Town of Cambridge all properties are determined as Category 1 which, in 2017/2018, attracted an ESL rate in the dollar of $0.013259.

Minimum and maximum charges are also applicable, based on property types.

In 2017/2018 the minimum charge for Category 1 residential properties was $75 and the maximum $395, and for Category 1 commercial properties the minimum was $75 and maximum $225,000.

For more information about the ESL visit the FESA website

9. What is a minimum rate or payment?

  • Local governments are permitted to set a minimum amount payable for properties in their area.
  • The minimum rate is applied in instances where the GRV multiplied by the rate in the dollar is less than the minimum rate.
  • For 2017/2018 the minimum rate is $962.

10. How is the instalment charge calculated?

The pay by instalment options attracts a charge which is calculated in two parts:

  • Part 1 is an administration fee of $8 per instalment notice issued;
  • Part 2 is interest of 5.5 per cent per annum calculated on the instalment amount due once the first instalment is paid. 

11. Is interest charged for late payment?

Yes. Under the Local Government Financial Management Regulations 1996 penalty interest of 11% per annum is charged on outstanding rates, not being paid in instalments.

12. What you can do if you can't pay in full? 

Special payment arrangements are available to customers who are not able to pay in full or by an instalment option.

Arrangements can be made to set up a fortnightly or monthly direct debit from a nominated bank account.

An administration fee of $35 is charged for payment arrangements, and penalty interest of 11% per cent per annum will apply on the outstanding balance until the account is cleared.

13. What happens if you build or renovate?

When you make changes to your property the Valuer General may revalue the property and advise the Town the new valuation and an effective date for the new valuation. An amended rate notice, called an interim rate notice, is then issued.

Examples of where your valuation would be amended include:

  • a new building has been constructed;
  • a pool has been installed;
  • a new room has been added; or
  • a property has been demolished.

The Town will usually receive an interim valuation from the Valuer General within 1-2 months of the completion of the works.

14. How to change address or owner details

If you own property, live, or run a business in the Town it's important you inform us if your contact details change.

We use your contact details to issue rates, dog and cat registration renewals and other general Council correspondence.

 How to Change your Address
Online Change your address online
Writing

Post Change of Address(PDF, 89KB) form to Town of Cambridge, PO Box 15, Floreat 6014

Email

Email Change of Address

Change property title details

To change property title details please contact Landgate

You will receive written confirmation from Landgate when the title is changed, including an updated Certificate of Title.

To change your details for Town of Cambridge purposes please send us the confirmation and updated Certificate of Title.

 How to Change Property Title details
 Writing PO Box 15, Floreat WA 6014 
 Email  Email updated Certificate of Title

We will contact you if additional information is needed.

15. Pensioner and Senior FAQs

If you hold a valid concession card you may qualify for a rebate or deferment on rates.

To qualify, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be the owner and occupier of the property as at 1 July; and
  • Hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card, State Concession Card, WA Seniors Card or both a WA Seniors Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

If you meet the above criteria you must pay your portion of the general rates (including Specified Area Rate), Emergency Services Levy and all arrears and service charges by 30 June. If paying the rebated amount an extension past 30 June is not permitted.

Rebates do not apply to Health Care or Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders. 

How do you apply for a pensioner concession?

Apply online on the Water Corporation website.  The Water Corporation will send your completed application to us.

 Apply for a concession

Call the Water Corporation on 1300 659 951 to complete an application over the phone. The Water Corporation will send your completed application to us.

Any concession will apply from the date your application is completed.

What if you obtain a Seniors Card or Pensioner Card during the year?

Partial concessions are available to pensioners and seniors who become eligible during the financial year, provided they meet the eligibility criteria stated above.

The partial concession will apply from the date your application is received.

Is a pensioner/senior rebate applicable to the ESL?

Yes. Seniors and pensioners who qualify for a rebate for their general rates also qualify for the same percentage rebate on the Emergency Services Levy.

Pensioners who are eligible to defer their general rates can also defer their Emergency Services Levy.

Is there a maximum rebate?

Yes. Seniors who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to claim a rebate of up to 25% of their general rates (including specified area rate). In 2017/2018 the rates rebate for seniors is capped to a maximum $100 for rates and $98.75 for the Emergency Services Levy.

Pensioners who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to claim a rebate of up to 50% of their general rates. In 2017/2018 the rates rebate for pensioners is capped to a maximum $750 for rates and $197.50 for the Emergency Service Levy.

What are my payment options?

Registered and entitled pensioners and seniors have two payment options for rates.

Claim your rebate
The Town can claim a rebate from the Office of State Revenue on your behalf, if your portion of the general rates (including specified area rate), Emergency Services Levy, all arrears and service charges are paid in full by 30 June. Please note: rubbish and swimming pool charges cannot be deferred and must be paid on or before the due date.

Defer general rates and Emergency Services Levy on your property
If you qualify for this option, your full rate amount and Emergency Services Levy will be deferred and remain as a charge against your property until the property is sold or you move from the property. No interest will apply to the deferred amount. Please note: rubbish and swimming pool charges cannot be deferred and must be paid on or before the due date.

NOTE:  Life tenants, seniors or pensioners entitled to a rebate of less than 50% cannot defer Rates payments.

What if your circumstances change or you no longer receive a pension?

If your circumstances change - such as your card type, your pension type, you have changed address or you have become ineligible, you must advise our Rates Department on 9347 6000.

Who determines the rules for pensioners and seniors?

The Office of State Revenue determines all rules around rebates and deferments for pensioners and seniors.  The rules are administered by the Town.