Rates - FAQs

Please view the following frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and their responses if you have any queries about your property's rates. If you still have queries after viewing the FAQ's then please contact the City. 

If the rise in rates was an average 3.9% then why has my 2023/24 rating assessment gone up more?

There may be properties where the annual rate assessment has increased more than the average 3.9% increase. 

This will be because of a change in Unimproved Valuations (UV), which are revalued annually, or Gross Rental Valuations (GRV) for the property. 

The effect of the UV revaluation is that individual properties values do not move uniformly. Some values may not change or may even reduce. Others can increase and in some cases increase significantly.

Please refer to Valuation - FAQ's below for more information on valuations. 

What are local government rates and who pays them?

Local government rates are a contribution each property owner makes towards the cost of providing facilities and services in their local community. Anyone owning residential, rural, vacant, industrial, commercial property, a mining tenement or lease crown including local government property in the City of Busselton is a ratepayer. Some government bodies, educational and registered charitable organisations are exempt from paying rates.

What do my rates pay for?

Annual rates contribute to all of the City’s many works and services throughout the district, which includes;

  • keeping the City clean and maintained
  • upgrading community assets
  • construction and maintenance of street lighting, drains, roads, footpaths and cycle ways
  • jetty and beachfront works and maintenance
  • maintenance of beaches, parks and garden
  • Waste collection and services

And major projects, such as the Busselton Margaret River Airport development. For more information on major projects, please visit our Major Projects webpage

Further information on rates can be found on the WALGA website.

Why do I pay rates when I don't use any Council facilities?

Every ratepayer uses one or more facilities provided by Council. The moment you drive out of your property onto a road you are using a Council facility. If you live outside of the City and have a rental property, then your tenant uses Council's facilities.

Why is Council continuing to drive major capital projects?

The investment our Council is making in infrastructure is adding significantly to jobs and the local economy at a time when it is most needed. Building costs and interest rates are also favourable and this means we can get great value for money in delivering new infrastructure that will serve our fast growing community for decades to come.

How do I object to my rates?

An objection may be lodged where there is an error in the rate record with respect to:

  • the identity of the owner or occupier of any land; or
  • on the basis that the land or part of the land is not rateable

An objection to the rate record must be made in writing and lodged with the City within 42 days of the date of issue of an annual or interim (not instalment) rate notice. This objection must identify the relevant land and set out fully in detail the grounds of the objection.

NOTE: All rate payments are required to be paid by their due date, irrespective of whether an objection or appeal has been lodged.

Why are interim rates raised?

The City may be required to issue interim rates during the course of a financial year for various reasons.

Some of these reasons are because of a building completion, alteration, addition or demolition and/or a variation to land due to amalgamation or subdivision/strata titling, an error in valuation or rating of a property or subsequent revaluation of the property.

In accordance with Section 6.39 of the Local Government Act 1995, the City may amend the rate record for the current and/or five preceding financial year/s.

When will I receive my rate notice?

Your annual rate notice will be issued around July/August each year. If you do not receive your rate notice then please send an email to city@busselton.wa.gov.au or call 08 9781 0444. Please provide the following details:

  • Full name
  • Contact details
  • Property address
  • Postal address

How do I obtain a copy of my rate notice?

By requesting the copy via

email: city@busselton.wa.gov.au 

mail: Locked Bag 1, BUSSELTON WA 6280.

Alternatively by completing the below form and emailing, posting or delivering it to the City. 

Please ensure any notice copy request specifies the financial year and type of notice required.

There is a $13.50 fee payable in advance for the 2nd copy of the current financial year’s annual notice. And a $13.50 fee for any prior financial year’s annual notice or other type of notice. 

Rate Notice Copy Request Form 

What happens if I change my address?

It is a property owner/s responsibility to inform the City in writing of any change in postal address. This change of address may be made by

email: city@busselton.wa.gov.au 

mail: Locked Bag 1, BUSSELTON WA 6280.

Alternatively the change of address form may be completed and e-mailed, posted or delivered to the City.

Change of Address Form

Difficulty Paying Rates?

If you are unable to meet one of the payment options stated on your annual notice then please Contact the City and make a special payment arrangement

To make a special payment arrangement will require completion, including the direct debit section, of the below proposal form. Once completed then please send the form to the City by email at city@busselton.wa.gov.au or by post to Locked Bag 1, Busselton WA 6280 for consideration.

The proposal form should be received by the City before any notice or demand letter due date with the payment amount being sufficient to effect clearance by the 31st March of the current financial year.

Please note any approved payment proposal will be subject to various terms and conditions, including a $33.00 arrangement fee and continued overdue interest accrual.

Note: Rate payments as proposed should be met even if a decision on the proposal is yet to be received. 

Special Rates Payment/ Clearance Proposal Form

What is the overdue interest rate and how is it calculated?

Overdue interest will accrue daily at 7.00%pa, calculated on a daily simple interest basis, on rating arrears, overdue balances and unpaid instalments until fully cleared. Overdue interest will accrue daily at 11.00%pa, calculated on a daily simple interest basis, on all Emergency Services Levy arrears and overdue balances. If interest is accruing then a pay out amount should be obtained prior to making any payment. Interest accrued may be cleared in preference to overdue and arrears rating balances from any rate payments received. Overdue interest will not accrue if eligible to a full State Government rebate or deferral.

What are overdue rates and rate arrears?

Overdue Rates – Are where payments as sought by a current financial years annual, interim or instalment notices are not paid by their due date.  Overdue rates do not apply if eligible to a full State Government rebate.

Rate Arrears – Are any unpaid non-deferred rating balances from prior financial periods.

All overdue and arrears rating balances will be subject to interest accrual and legal recovery proceedings where not eligible to a full State Government rebate. Each property owners is jointly and severally liable for overdue and arrears balances plus any legal recovery costs. All legal recovery costs will be charged to the property and will be payable in full along with the debt sought prior to ceasing recovery proceedings.

In accordance with sections 6.60 and 6.64 of the Local Government Act 1995 the City may garnish a property rental and/or after taking Court action may if rates or service charges remain unpaid for at least 3 years take possession of the property and (a) from time to time lease the land (b) sell the land (c) cause the land to be transferred to the Crown or (d) cause the land to be transferred to itself. All costs associated with these proceedings, including advertisement and marketing will be charged to the property and will be due and payable in full along with the debt sought prior to ceasing recovery proceedings.

NOTE: The City is not obligated or responsible to remove any legal recovery proceedings notation from a property owner/s Australian credit rating record.

What is the Biodiversity Incentive?

Rural ratepayers with at least 5 hectares of bush may be eligible for a rebate in exchange for protection and management of the bushland,. Further information can be found on our Biodiversity Incentive Strategy page or by contacting the City's Environmental officer on (08) 9781 0464.

Valuation - FAQs

Please view the following frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and their responses if you have any queries about your property's valuation. If you still have queries after viewing the FAQ's then please contact the City. 

What is a Gross Rental Value (GRV)?

For land that is developed, the GRV represents the gross annual rental that a property might reasonably be expected to earn annually if it were rented, including rates, taxes, insurance and other outgoings. For non-residential properties, GST is also included. The GRV is calculated based on rental evidence from property managers, owners and other sources for all rateable properties at a “snapshot in time”, regardless of whether the property is occupied by the owner or a family member, rented or unoccupied.

 For land that is not developed, as rental evidence cannot be used, a statutory valuation of 3% of the Unimproved (or capital) value of the land is applied to properties designated as residential and 5% for properties designated as non-residential (commercial/industrial).

What is considered when a GRV is calculated?

Several attributes and constraints are considered when determining the GRV of a property. These may include:

Residential - Location, building age, area and construction material, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, number of carports/garages, pools and views, busy roads or proximity to an industrial precinct. 

Non Residential - Location, building age, area and construction material, street exposure and property access, proximity to main arterial road and commercial precincts. 

This means that a GRV may be different from a neighbouring property, or for a similar property in a different suburb.

Landgate conducts land valuations tri-annually for GRV's using a date of valuation of 1 August from the previous year.

What is an Unimproved Value (UV)?

A UV, is the land value only. It does not include the value of a home, other structures or improvements. For land that is: 

Within a Regional Townsite: A UV includes merged improvements such as drainage, levelling and filling. 

Outside a Regional Townsite (In general rural land): A UV is land valued in its original state having regard for sales evidence as at the date of valuation. Degradation of the land and any services or amenities that may add value may also be considered.

What is considered when a UV is calculated?

Several attributes and constraints are considered when determining the UV of a property.  These may include: 

Location, land area, lot configuration, topography, zoning, development potential and views or proximity to busy roads. 

Landgate conducts land valuations annually for UVs using a date of valuation of 1 August from the previous year.

What can I do if I think the valuation of my property is incorrect?

Should you believe your property has been incorrectly valued then you may lodge an enquiry with Landgate Valuation Services (LVS) within 60 days after the issue date of an annual or interim (not instalment) rate notice.

Please visit the Landgate website or call Landgate Customer Service on +61 (08) 9273 7373 to obtain information on how your values are calculated.

If you wish to lodge an objection then please refer to the "How do I lodge an objection on my GRV,UV or pastoral rent value” FAQ at Lodging an Objection

NOTE: All rate payments are required to be paid by their due date, irrespective of whether an objection or appeal has been lodged.

 

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