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.
The Valuer General is responsible for determining all property values in Western Australia.
Gross Rental Value
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 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.
The Valuer General provides the Town with an updated GRV Roll every three years. This impacts the amount of rates that each individual property owner will pay.
Under the Valuation of Land Act 1978, the Valuer General is required to maintain valuation rolls for all properties in Western Australia for rating and taxing purposes. On behalf of the Valuer General, Landgate valuers provide independent and unbiased valuations of your property.
These are called Gross Rental Values (GRVs) and Unimproved Values (UV’s). Revaluation is where the Valuer General is required to reassess the GRV & UV for all properties within the metropolitan area. Revaluation on Gross Rental Values (GRV) occurs every three years and every year for Unimproved Values (UV).
The valuations assessed as part of revaluation are assessed at the same date. This date is used by valuers to ensure a fair and equitable assessment is completed for all properties at a given point in time. The assessment date, known as the “date of valuation” for GRV properties is 1 August 2018 and for UV properties 1 July 2020.
This new GRV remains in force for the respective three-year period until the next GRV revaluation period, unless the property GRV is assessed due to an addition, demolition etc. The new UV remains in force for the respective one-year period and is not reassessed until the following year. A date of valuation is set to reflect the property rental market for the metropolitan area at the same time, which ensures consistence across the metropolitan area.
There is a delay between the date of valuation and the date the valuations are applied by Local Governments due to the time it takes for Landgate to collect and analyse evidence and calculate new valuations for all Western Australian properties. The Town of Cambridge does not have input into the GRV or UV set by Landgate’s independent process.
What you need to know about the 2020/2021 revaluation and what it means to your rates.
Local Governments urged the State Government to postpone this year’s revaluation; however, the State Government decision was to continue with the revaluation. The Valuer General subsequently supplied the Town with updated valuations to fairly reflect the reduction in the rental market and the 2020/2021 rates will be based on the new Gross Rental Value (GRV) & Unimproved Value (UV) effective 1 July 2020.
Given the current economic climate and the State Governments request for a zero rates revenue increase for 2020/2021, the Town has not increased its rates revenue for the 2020/21 financial year compared to 2019/20.
This freeze is to provide some relief for ratepayers in these difficult times. However, as a direct result of individual changes in the valuation of each property, the rates levied per property will fluctuate regardless of the zero percentage change in rates revenue raised adopted by Council. This means some rates notices will be higher and some will be lower than last year.
The Town has also adopted a reduced late payment interest charge of 5.5 per cent per annum down from 11 per cent per annum. They have also decreased instalment interest charges from 5.5 per cent per annum to 2 per cent per annum.
A Financial Hardship Policy has been adopted by Council to assist vulnerable ratepayers experiencing financial hardship. For those property owners wishing to make a submission, a Hardship Application form(DOCX, 839KB) together with evidence of hardship is to be submitted to the Town for review.
The Valuer General also determines property values in City Beach and part of Floreat using their Unimproved Value (UV), the value of the land as if it were vacant with no improvements.
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. UV property values are reviewed every year.
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.
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 & Spa Inspection - this is an annual charge to applicable property owners to cover the cost of inspections carried out every four years. If you no longer have a swimming pool or spa on your property please advise us on 9347 6000.
Underground Power Instalments
Underground Power Service Charge instalments due for the 2020/2021 rating year are now shown on the annual rate notices for those ratepayers utilising the 3, 5 & 10 year underground power instalment payment options. Your annual payment which was normally due in February 2021 has now been broken up into more manageable portions across the 2 and 4 instalment option programmes.
This means no 2020/2021 underground power instalment will be due in February 2021.
Your next underground power instalment will not be due again until the 2021/2022 rating year with instalments once again being offered for payment in September 2021 onwards.
Given the uncertainty of what affects Covid-19 would have on ratepayers, introducing a “bill smoothing” payment option and reduced instalment fees was approved by Council in June. The bill smoothing payment option makes paying your council rates and underground power more manageable, by giving the option of paying underground power service charges along with other rating charges over 2 or 4 instalments rather than having to pay a big lump sum in February 2021..
Also, no additional fees are being charged for paying your underground power by using one of the available instalment payment options. Instalment fees for the instalment options appearing on the rates notice are only applicable with respect to your rates charges not underground power.
What can I do if I don't agree with the value applied to my property?
A property owner may lodge an objection against the valuation of a property with Landgate within 60 days of the date of issue of a rates notice.
For information on how your values are calculated and how to lodge an objection, please visit Landgate’s website at www.landgate.wa.gov.au/valuations or call Landgate Customer Service on 9273 7373 or write to Landgate Valuation Services P.O. Box 2222, Midland 6936
Please note: Rates must be paid by the due date of the rate notice, irrespective of whether an objection has been lodged. If your objection is successful, the rates will be reassessed. Any credit that results from this reassessment will either be allocated to any balance outstanding or can be refunded
How is the ESL 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 2020-2021, attracted an ESL rate in the dollar of $0.014839. Minimum and maximum charges are also applicable, based on property usage.
In response to COVID-19, the 2020/21 ESL rates have been frozen.
For more information about the ESL visit the DFES website
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 $10 per instalment notice issued;
- Part 2 is interest of 2 per cent per annum calculated on GRV or UV rates charges only on the instalment amount due once the first instalment is paid.
Is interest charged for late payment?
Yes. Late payment interest of 5.5% per annum, accruing daily, is charged on rates and/or service charges that remain unpaid after the due date/s.
What can I do if I 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.
Direct Debit arrangements can be made by either fortnightly or monthly payments from a nominated bank account or payment arrangement where the payment schedule and payment method are set by you.
An administration fee of $35 is charged for payment arrangements, and penalty interest will apply on the outstanding balance until the account is paid in full.
To apply for an arrangement, please complete the appropriate application form below and return to the Town.
Direct Debit Application Form(PDF, 259KB)
Payment Arrangement Application Form(PDF, 538KB)
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 a few months of the completion of the works.
My property is in the Endowment Lands Area (City Beach, parts of Floreat and Mount Claremont), why haven't my rates increased/decreased as per the published % change?
There are certain nuances to the system of rating in the Town of Cambridge, as a result of the Cambridge Endowment Lands Act 1920 (the "Act"). The Act covers areas within City Beach, Floreat and Mount Claremont and stipulates the method to be used by the Town to calculate local government rates in the Endowment Lands Area (ELA).
The application of the Act as it pertains to the rating methodology can result in significant variations to the general rate changes experienced by individual property owners within the ELA - some greater than others.
The nuances of this rating methodology, prescribed by the Act, are explained below:
1. Your property is located within the area of the Town covered by the Cambridge Endowment Lands Act 1920.
2. The Act states the method to be used by the Town to calculate local government rates in the ELA.
3. In metropolitan Perth, Local Governments typically apply a methodology which is based on a property's Gross Rental Value (GRV). The GRVs are reviewed by the Valuer General's Office every three (3) years.
4. However, the Act stipulates that in the ELA, the Unimproved Value (UV) of the Land is to be used to calculate local government rates. The UV is reviewed by the Valuer General annually.
5. The methodology contained within the Act requires the Town to initially calculate the total rates able to be raised from properties within the ELA, as if they were rated on a GRV basis. This is the point at which the Town applies the % change. The Act then requires a recalculation (reapportionment) of rates using the UV of the property, to yield the same amount from the ELA, in total.
6. Effectively, the recalculation reapportions the rates between neighbouring properties within the Endowment Lands Area, and can result in significant variations for the individual property owner. The application of the Act does not provide the Town of Cambridge with any more or any less rates. Property owners in the Non Endowment Lands areas of West Leederville, Wembley, Jolimont, and parts of Floreat, who are rated on a Gross Rental Value (GRV) basis, should experience changes in line with the published % change.