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FAQs and About Your Rates

Your rates contribute to the delivery of products and community services to our diverse and ever changing community.


How your rates are calculated

Each property is individually assessed by the Valuer Generals Office once every three years to determine its Gross Rental Value (GRV), which is the yearly rent the property would be expected to receive. Where a property is vacant, the GRV is calculated as 3% of the market value of the land.

As part of the yearly budget process, we calculate the Rate in the Dollar by dividing the total amount of money to be raised in general rates by the total value of all rateable properties. The resulting figure is the Rate in the Dollar.

A combination of these two result in your rates charges: Your rates = GRV x Rate in Dollar.

The overall objective for your rates if to provide for the shortfall in income required to enable us to provide the necessary works and services in the financial year, after taking into account all non-rate sources of income. We implement differential rating to provide equity in the rating of properties across the City. Further details on differential ratings can be found in the Annual Budget.

Your rate notice also includes additional charges.  An Emergency Services Levy which goes to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and is calculated using your Gross Rental Value (GRV) x the rate in the dollar provided by DFES. Charges that are not affected by the GRV include a Property Surveillance Charge and a Pool Fee if applicable.

Properties with a pool or spa also pay a Pool/Spa Inspection Fee, which is used to fund the Swimming Pool Compliance Program. Properties located in an underground power project area also pay additional charges to fund the installation of underground power in that suburb. Please note there are no new underground power projects in 2021.

Any charges applicable to you will be on the front of your rates notice.


Example rates notice for City of Melville

How to read your rates notice

1. Due Date

Full payment or the first instalment date needs to be received by the City by this date.

2. Gross Rental Value (GRV)

Set by the Valuer Generals Office, this is a conservative estimate of the amount the property could be rented for in one year. 

3. Rate in the Dollar

Set by the City, this is the 'Cents per dollar' of GRV that the City charges in rates.

4. Property Surveillance and Security Fee

$47.00 per property (previously $57.00 in 2019-2020)

5. State Government Charges and Rebates

We collect some charges on behalf of the State Government. 

Emergency Services Levy - collected on behalf of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

State Government Rebate - claimed on behalf of eligible Pensioner/Senior Card holders and paid by the Office of State Revenue.

6. Pool / Spa Inspection Fee

This annual fee applies to properties which have a pool / spa. In 2020-2021 the pool inspection charge was discounted by $10.00 to $39.00 (previously $49.00 in 2019-2020) 

7. Melville Community Stimulus Concession

As per the Melville Community Stimulus package the concession will appear on your rates notice and if paying by instalments, will be deducted from the first instalment.

8. Quarterly Instalment Dates

To pay by instalments, the first instalment must be paid by the first instalment date.

Cost of instalment option – registered pensioner and senior card holders do not pay an instalment cost.

9. Payment Methods 

Information on various payment methods available. This section also includes your unique eRates reference number and BPay View number, which you need if you want to sign up to receive your rates electronically.

10. Cost of Instalment Option

Where payment of rates or service charges are made by instalments a 2% administrative charge will be applied.

Payment dates 2020/21

Payment dates for you 2020/21 rates are listed below:

  • Issue date: 5 August 2020
  • 1st Instalment: 10 September 2020
  • 2nd Instalment: 12 November 2020
  • 3rd Instalment: 18 January 2021
  • 4th Instalment: 19 March 2021
How is Gross Rental Value (GRV) determined?

Gross Rental Value (GRV) is the yearly income the property would be expected to generate if rented. The valuation is provided and determined by the Valuer Generals Office and is updated every three years. The rental value for a house is influence by factors like age, construction, size, car shelters and pools. By analysing property rents against these individual attributes and characteristics it is possible to assess a valuation for all properties, whether they are rented or not.

Can I appeal my GRV?

The Valuation of Land Act 1978 (as amended) Part IV sets out the manner in which objections and appeals may be instituted if you object to the GRV set for your property.

An objection against the valuation must be made in writing and received by the Valuer General, 1 Midland Square, Midland WA 6056 or by Council, within 60 days of the issue of this rate notice. Please quote your Ven number which can be found on the notice.

A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Valuer General in respect to the objective may lodge an appeal to the Land Valuable Tribunal.

If an objection or an appeal is lodged, the full amount (depending on payment option chosen) of rates remains due and payable by the due date on the notice, regardless of the expected outcome of the appeal.

Do I have to pay my rates if I have lodged an objection or appeal of my GRV?

Yes, if an objection or an appeal is lodged, the amount (depending on payment option chosen) of rates remains due and payable by the due date on the notice, regardless of the expected outcome of the appeal.

Unpaid rates will begin to accrue interest after the due date/instalment date/s and will continue to accrue each day until the overdue amount is paid. For 2020-2021, this amount is set at 2% calculated daily.

How is the Rate in the Dollar calculated?

As part of the yearly budget process, we calculate the Rate in the Dollar by dividing the total amount of money to be raised in general rates by the total value of all rateable properties. The resulting figure is the Rate in the Dollar.

What payment options are available?

We offer the below payment options:

  1. Full payment by the due date
  2. Four quarterly instalments (admin fee and instalment interest applies)

We also offer flexible payment plans to suit your needs. Contact our rates department if you would like to spread out your rates in weekly, fortnightly, monthly or even ad-hoc instalments. Instalment interest of 2% will apply.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes we do. Please contact our rates department if you would like to set up a payment plan. Interest of 2% will apply.

I’m having trouble paying my rates. What do I do?

Should you be experiencing financial difficulties, alternative payment arrangements can be made with the us by contacting our friendly Customer Relations team via phone (08) 9364 0666 | 1300 635 845 or by email We strongly encourage those who have difficulties in meeting their payments to make contact with our rates department as early as possible. We also offer a free financial counselling service for residents

Are there any penalties for not paying your rates on time?

Under Section 6.51 of the Local Government Act 1995, The City may charge interest on overdue balances. Interest will begin to accrue after the due date/instalment date/s and will continue to accrue each day until the overdue amount is paid. For 2020/2021, the rate of interest is set at 2% calculated daily. This rate is set in accordance with Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996.

Eligible pensioners and seniors are exempt from late payment penalty interest.

What happens if I refuse to pay my rates?

Rates and service charges that remain outstanding 35 days after the date of issue may be recovered by legal action without further notice. Costs incurred in any legal action taken to recover the outstanding amount will be added to your account. If payment is allowed to fall into arrears for a period of three or more years, the City may:

  1. Sell the land;
  2. Take the land and let or lease the property;
  3. Have the land vested in the Local Government;
  4. Have the land vested in the Crown.
I’m a pensioner/senior. Can I get a discount?

Seniors with a valid WA Seniors Card are eligible for a 25% rebate for ESL and 25% for rates up to a maximum of $100; and pensioners who hold either a Pensioner Concession Card, State Concession Card, or both a WA Seniors Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are eligible for a 50% rebate up to a maximum of $750. To be eligible, the applicant must be the owner-occupier of the property as at 1 July of the rating year. Partial concessions may be available for people who become eligible during that rating year. All seniors/pensioners must pay the amount under ‘Total Charged’ to receive the rebate.

To apply for a rebate, visit and fill in the application form. If there are arrears outstanding on the property when you apply, they must be paid to receive you rebate.

If your circumstances change, i.e. you are no longer the owner-occupier or lose your pensioner/senior status, you must tell our rates department immediately.

I am a pensioner/senior. Can I defer my rates?

Pensioners fulfilling the requirements above also have the option to defer their rates, however, cannot claim the rebate if they choose to do so. Pensioners deferring their rates must still pay the Property Surveillance Charge and Pool Inspection Fee (if applicable). You must be registered with the Water Corporation to be eligible to defer your rates. All arrears also need to be paid in full to be able to defer your rates.

Rebates to Pensioners and Seniors under the Rates and Charges (Rebates and Deferments Act) are funded by the Government of Western Australia.

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

The Emergency Service Levy helps fund WA’s fire and emergency services, including fire stations, volunteer fire brigades, State Emergency Service (SES) units, the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service and the multi-purpose Volunteer Emergency Service Units.

This levy is a State Government charge and is required to be collected on behalf of the Department of Fire and Emergency Service (DFES) by all Western Australia Local Government Authorities. For more information, visit

What is the Property Surveillance Charge?

All properties are charged the Property Surveillance Charge, which helps fund a range of programs and services to improve neighbourhood amenity, including the City’s Community Safety Service (CSS), a highly visible, 24/7 mobile patrol service that acts as extra eyes and ears for the community and police.

Find out more

Why do I pay the Property Surveillance Charge if my property is vacant?

The property surveillance and security charge covers a range of programs and services to improve neighbourhood amenity. These include the reporting of graffiti and community development programs for groups such as at-risk youth and the elderly. The aim is to improve overall safety and security, to make Melville a great place to live. This helps to maintain property values for owners.

Vacant land can also be damaged, have material dumped without authorisation, or people may congregate and cause a nuisance. In addition, vacant land may be under construction. The Community Safety Service observes and reports any problems spotted on vacant land or construction sites, which is important as the lot is generally unoccupied.

What is the Pool/Spa Inspection Fee?

In accordance with Building Regulations 2012, a Pool/Spa inspection fee is charged to properties that have a private pool or a spa containing water that is more than 300mm deep. It is used to fund the Swimming Pool Compliance Program, which includes inspection and advice to property owners on pool safety and legislative obligations. All pools in the City are inspected every four years.

Find out more

Will my pool be inspected every year?

The legislative requirement is that each pool is inspected every four years and brought into compliance. Our strategy is to complete inspections on 25 percent of all pools within the City each year. The annual pool levy charge is equal to one quarter of the cost of providing this service for each home.

Additional inspections, such as when purchasing a property, are available upon request on a fee for service basis.

What are these underground power charges?

The underground power charges are used to fund the installation of underground power in project suburbs. They consist of a network service charge and a network connection fee. The network service charge is the same for all properties in the project area. The network connection fee is only charged if a suitable connection doesn’t already exist. If it does, no connection charge is applied. If a connection already exists but needs more work to connect to the network, a modified connection fee is charged. If no connection exists, then a full connection fee is charged.

Find out more

Do I have to pay the underground power charges all at once?

You do not have to pay it all at once. The City is able to offer payment arrangements to residents, with the option of spreading underground power charges over a repayment period of five years from the date of issue. Interest applies at 2% per annum calculated daily on any remaining underground power charges.

Find out more

How does the City's $15 million Community Stimulus Package in response to COVID-19 benefit me?

The immediate measures approved in the $15 million Community Stimulus Package include:

  • A reduction in rates payable for 2020-2021 facilitated through rates concessions of $200 for all general rates for improved properties, $165 for general rates for unimproved properties and 10% reduction in commercial rates based on 2019-2020 valuations.
  • No increases in fees and charges
  • A reduced penalty interest on rates payments and underground power down from 8% to 2%
  • Supporting flexible payments of rates by removing administration fees of $17.50 and reducing penalty interest to 2%
  • Removing surcharges for payments by credit / debit cards
  • A reduction in the property surveillance and security service charge of $10.00
  • A reduction in private swimming pool inspection fees of $10.00

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