The City of Greater Dandenong collects two rates levies:
- The Fire Services Levy, which applies to all Victorian property owners
- 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.
The State Revenue Office manages the Fire Service Levy for the Victorian Government.
For more details:
- visit the State Revenue Office's website
- contact the State Revenue Office on 132 161 (press option 8, then option 2, then option 1)
- email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
For more details on the Keysborough South Maintenance Levy:
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.