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Rates levies

The City of Greater Dandenong collects two rates levies:

  1. The Fire Services Levy, which applies to all Victorian property owners
  2. The Keysborough South Maintenance Levy, which only applies to people who own property in Keysborough South estates. 

Fire Services Levy

About the Fire Services Levy

The Victorian Government requires local councils to collect a Fire Services levy on their behalf. The Fire Services Property Levy helps fund Victoria’s fire and emergency services.

Fire Services Levy and your rates

Council collects the levy as part of your rates notice. 

Your rates notice lists your Council rates and the Fire Services Levy.

The levy is not a new fee. Until 30 June 2013, insurance companies collected the levy as part of insurance premiums. Only those with property insurance paid it.

All property owners must pay the property-based levy.

More information

The State Revenue Office manages the Fire Service Levy for the Victorian Government.

For more details:

Keysborough South Maintenance Levy

Developers designed the estates in Keysborough South with large open spaces. The design kept native plants and provides 20 per cent open space. Other estates usually only have 5 per cent of open space.

The reserves in Keysborough South restore natural waterways. They also provide residents and visitors with a network of cycling and walking paths and spaces to relax outdoors.

Council charges property owners in the Keysborough South estates a maintenance levy of $350 each year. This levy covers:

  • the maintenance required for the extra open space above the usual 5 per cent in other estates in Greater Dandenong
  • capital improvements within the estate that Council's capital works program doesn't directly fund.

Why Council established the levy 

The Keybororugh South property developer wanted to provide 20 per cent of open space in the estates. They would finish and maintain it to a high standard to attract buyers to the area.

In 2006, Council and the developer signed an agreement under the Planning and Environment Act (Section 173 agreement). Under this agreement, the developer would establish and maintain the open space for the first three years. After the three years, Council would then maintain it.

The size of the open space is much larger than other areas in Greater Dandenong. It would cost more to maintain this open space. Council agreed to a $350 per year maintenance levy. The levy was to stay fixed for three years and then, at Council’s election, increase it by the CPI.

The 2006 development is Stage 1 in the estate. Stages 2 and 3 followed in 2011. These stages agreed to the same maintenance levy.

Areas covered by the levy

Map of the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy area

How Council manages the levy

Since 2011-12, Council has placed all revenue it received from the levy into the Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund.

About 4560 blocks of land currently pay the $350 levy, raising $1.6 million each year. 

It is unknown what the final amount of assessments will be when the developments are fully completed but it is expected that this revenue will now plateau as development is reaching its maturity.

In 2020-21, Council projects it will have to spend $2.09 million on Keysborough South maintenance. The Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund will fund 75 per cent of this spending. The projected reserve balance at 30 June 2021 is $1.73 million.

As the developer continues to hand previous stages to Council to maintain, Council predicts:

  • it will have to spend more than it receives from the levy
  • the reserve balance will start to diminish.

Further information

For more details on the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy:

Keysborough South Maintenance Levy fact sheet - 470KB

Contact Council

View the balance of the Keysborough Maintenance Levy Reserve Fund in Council’s Annual Report (see Note 27 - Reserves).

Fire Services Levy

How the levy is calculated

The levy includes a fixed and variable component.

The fixed component is listed below.

Council works out the variable component as a percentage of capital improved property values. This is shown on your rates notice.

Name Levy
Residential Properties $114
Commercial Properties $117

Keysborough South Maintenance Levy

Name Levy
Keysborough South Maintenance Levy $350

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Fire Services Levy

The State Revenue Office Victoria have a range of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fire services property levy on their website.

Find out more at State Revenue Office Victoria

Maintenance covered by the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy

Open space maintenance

Council maintenance

Council staff maintain the open spaces in all areas the developer has handed over.

Council's Garden maintenance activities include:

  • mowing
  • maintaining garden beds
  • planting watering and pruning trees
  • controlling weeds.

Council's cleaning activities include:

  • collecting litter
  • removing graffiti 
  • cleaning toilets and BBQs
  • cleaning park furniture and signage.

Other maintenance activities include:

  • maintaining and repairing playgrounds and park lighting
  • installing, replacing and repairing park furniture and signage
  • repairing footpaths, cycling paths, footbridges and timber walkways
  • maintaining and repairing fences
  • maintaining watering and other systems.

Melbourne Water maintenance

Melbourne Water maintains the waterways, including the plants up to the high water mark. In public open spaces, Council is responsible for maintaining areas above the high water mark. 

The Keysborough South Maintenance Levy does not include Melbourne Water's activities. The areas Melbourne Water maintains are not included in the 20 per cent open space in Keysborough South.

Nature strip maintenance in Somerfield Estate

As part of Council's subdivision guidelines, the developer who subdivides the land must landscape in line with Council approved plans. This includes parks, gardens, trees and nature strips.

In most cases, the developer is responsible for maintaining the site for the first three years.

If you live in Somerfield Estate, visit www.somerfield.com.au/faq/ for more details.