What does ‘rate in the dollar’ mean?

    The rate in the dollar, is the set value (usually in cents) applied to each property to determine the rates payable. 

    The value is calculated when the City divides the total amount of rates revenue by the total gross rental value for the City. 

    How each column in this table is calculated 

    • Total GRV: Collective Gross Rental Value of all properties in City of Belmont as assigned by Landgate as of 1st July 2020
    • Total Minimum Payment: Calculated by total number of ratepayers assigned the minimum payment x minimum payment value
    • Total GRV for Minimums: Calculated as Collective GRV value of all ratepayers assigned the minimum payment 
    • Total GRV for Rates in the dollar: Calculated by total GRV minus Total GRV for Minimums
    • Income required from Rate in the dollar: Calculated by Total Required Rates Revenue Contribution minus Total Minimum Payments 
    • Rate in the dollar (in cents): Calculated as Income Required from Rate in the dollar divided by Total GRV for Rate in the dollar

    Total required rates revenue contribution X Total GRV = Rate in the dollar

    The rate in the dollar is different depending on the property classification of residential, industrial, and commercial.  

    A number of Belmont ratepayers will see their property's GRV go down compared to last year, so why have a small number of these ratepayers seen an overall rates notice increase?

    A small number of Belmont ratepayers will see their Gross Rental Value decrease but still have an increased rates notice compared to last year. This is due to the ‘rate in the dollar’ value used to determine rates being increased this year. The rate in the dollar value was increased to account for the overall decrease in the City's collective GRV. If this did not happen there would have been a $7 million shortfall in total rates collected this financial year compared to last year, which would impact the City’s ability to deliver essential services. Despite the increase, the City of Belmont ‘rate in the dollar’ value remains one of the lowest of all metropolitan local governments.

    How do I know what my property's GRV is?

    Your property’s GRV is listed on your rates notice issued annually by the City. It can also be obtain by contacting the City or Landgate.

    What does ‘differential rate’ mean?

    Differential rates mean that there is a different ‘rate in the dollar’ for different groups e.g. residential, commercial, and industrial.

    When will I be able to apply for the rates financial assistance (of up to $250) for ratepayers impacted by COVID-19?

    Applications for support under the Financial Hardship Policy (COVID-19) are now available. Find out more here.

    Can I apply for the one-off payment of up to $250 as part of the Financial Hardship Policy (COVID-19)?

    If you qualify for the above Policy the one-off payment can only be accessed for residential rates if you have:

    • Received increased residential rates due to GRV revaluation in 2020-2021 and;
    • Are facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Applications for the one-off payment can be made here.

    Please note the one-off payment assistance only applies to the 'Residential Rate' line as itemised on your rates notice. 

    If other fees, charges or levies listed on your rates notices have increased – such as in the instance of adding a pool to your property which will result in a pool levy being charged – the one off payment will not cover the increased difference.  

    Why are rates charged?

    Rates make up approximately 60% of the funding required for the City to deliver the services and activity required by residents and ratepayers. The rates paid on properties are calculated based on the operating requirements of the City of Belmont. The rates you pay are a proportionate share of what is needed by the City to provide local services and facilities. That is, if your property has greater potential rental return than your neighbours’, you will pay a higher share of the total rates charged by Council.

    How are rates applied?

    Local Governments apply a rate in the dollar that is multiplied by the property’s Gross Rental Valuation to obtain the rate amount for each property. Please note that a Gross Rental Valuation (GRV) is applied generally in town sites and suburbs, such as the City of Belmont, and an Unimproved Valuation (UV) is applied in rural areas.

    What can make rates go up?

    Rates can also increase if your property increases in potential rental value faster than others in your area. For example, if you make improvements to your home that increase its rental value then your share of rates will increase. However, changes to property values that affect the whole market – such as times of boom and recession – do not directly affect rates as the comparative value between neighbouring properties often remains the same.

    Local Government budgets and consequently funds required through rates are also affected by changes to charges by other sectors of Government such as electricity pricing.

    Why don't rates go down when there is a drop in the property market?

    This is because your rates are not directly linked to movements in the property market – only the value of your property compared with your neighbours’. If rates were directly linked to the property market then rates would be far greater than currently. Using each Local Government’s budget as the starting point for setting the amount of rates required, protects ratepayers from increases that are not directly aligned with the provision of services – such as property value increases.

    What if I disagree with my rates?

    There are two options to object or appeal your rates:

    • Under the Local Government Act 1995 you have 42 days from the time the rates notice is issued to appeal your rates if you believe there is an error with the rate record. If you do decide to query your rates you must still pay the full amount while it is being reviewed.
    • You can also appeal how the value of your property was calculated. Rates are calculated against the Gross Rental Value (GRV), as determined by the Valuer General – not the City. GRV is only used to determine your contribution to the City’s overall rate revenue. Your annual valuation is included on the rates notice. If you believe this is too high you can challenge this, for further information, visit the Landgate website.

    Do pensioners get a discount on rates?

    Pensioners with a valid seniors’ or concession card are entitled to reductions depending on their status on Council rates, water charges and the Emergency Services Levy. The State Government caps the rebate to pensioners at 50% of their rates up to $750. To find out more click here.

    Do I have to pay my rates all at once?

    The City understands that people may be experiencing financial hardship which makes it difficult to meet all of their financial commitments when they are due. Please contact the City of Belmont Rates Department on 9477 7222 to arrange a suitable payment arrangement. 

    The City recognises the challenges of COVID-19 may result in financial hardship for ratepayers. Council has adopted a Hardship Policy to ensure the City offers fair, equitable and consistent support, while treating all members of the community with respect and understanding at this difficult time. To find out more about the support available through the Hardship Policy, click here.

    What is Gross Rental Value (GRV)?

    The Gross Rental Value, or 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. 

    The GRV is calculated for all rateable and leviable properties in Western Australia by Landgate regardless of whether the property is being rented or owner occupied.

    What is considered when calculating the GRV?

    For full details on this matter, please contact Landgate (Office of the Valuer General) via phone ((08) 9273 7373) or email (customerservice@landgate.wa.gov.au). For more contact information, click here. 

    Several attributes and constraints are considered when determining the Gross Rental Value (GRV) of a property. These may include:

    Residential

    • Location
    • Age, building area and construction materials
    • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
    • Number of car shelters (carports / garages)
    • Below ground pools
    • Views, busy roads, or proximity to an industrial precinct.

    Non-residential

    • Location
    • Age, building area and construction materials
    • Street exposure and property access
    • Proximity to main arterial roads and primary commercial precincts.

    Does the City of Belmont offer a discount?

    The City of Belmont is one of the few WA Local Governments that still offer a discount, 5%, when rates are paid in full by the due date.  

    What is the latest date I can pay and still receive the discount?

    To be eligible for the discount, the account must be finalised by the due date as shown on the original rate notice. If you would like to make a payment, please click here. The City of Belmont strictly enforces the due date for payment of rates for ratepayers to be eligible for the discount. Please be aware that rates received after the due date will not be eligible for the discount. Please allow additional time for BPay payments and delays when sending payments via post. All mail is receipted the day it is received.

    What are interim rates?

    When any changes occur to your property, the Valuer General’s Office will provide Council with a valuation effective from the first of the month following the completion of that change. 

    This may include: 

    • Properties being subdivided or amalgamated 
    • A new building is completed 
    • A structure has been demolished 
    • Additions have been built 
    • A swimming pool or spa has been installed or removed. 

    What is the Emergency Services Levy (ESL)?

    The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is a State Government charge that is collected by the City of Belmont on behalf of Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). The charge is an important contribution to fund our fire fighters, both employed and volunteer, including Fire and Rescue Services, and Bush Fire Brigade - find out more about what it funds here. If you have any enquires relating to the levy, please contact the DFES on 1300 136 099 or visit their website.


    The ESL is calculated on your rates account using a valuation, GRV, supplied by the Valuer General's Department.

     The rate in the dollar used to calculate your levy is determined each year by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. 

    Why is there a minimum payment?

    The minimum payment ensures that all ratepayers make at least a minimum contribution, regardless of the value of their GRV, to the cost of providing the services that are available to the community.

    How many properties in Belmont are charge the minimum payment?

    The City is permitted to charge up to 50% of its rate payers the minimum payment. In 2020/21 27% of residential properties will be charged the minimum payment. 

    This is an increase from almost 25% in 2019/20 due to the overall decrease in residential GRVs across the City.   

    The minimum payment for residential properties remains unchanged in 2020/21 at $840. 

    How can I pay my rates?

    The City realises that it is not always convenient for you to visit the City's offices in order to pay your rates. So for your convenience, the City of Belmont offers the following methods for payment of rates.  

    Please note that a surcharge applies to a credit card payment of $100,000 or more

    Click here to pay online. You will need to quote your assessment number.

    BPay

    Biller Code 8821

    Contact your participating financial institution to arrange payment from your cheque or savings account. You will need to quote your assessment number. Please refer to your bank regarding the time between making the request and the monies being received at the City.

    Pay by Phone

    Biller Code 8821

    Simply telephone 1300 276 468 and follow the prompts. You will need to quote your assessment number. Please note that due to Eastern States banking hours, any payments made after 2.30pm WST will be classed as being made the following working day. 

    Pay by Post

    Please make cheques payable to The City of Belmont and post to City of Belmont, LMB 379, Cloverdale WA  6985. You will need to attach the bottom section of your rate notice. No receipt will be issued. All mail is receipted on the day it is received. Due to changes with Australia Post delivery times, for normal posted mail, please allow up to seven working days for the cheque to be received. 

    Pay in Person - City Offices

    Payments can be made at City offices at 215 Wright Street, Cloverdale. Cashiers hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). EFTPOS facilities are available for payment using your debit card, American Express, Mastercard or Visa. No cash out facility is available. Cash and cheques are also accepted. 

    Please note under the City’s COVID Safety Plan and associated COVID-19 measures, our Civic Centre currently has a maximum capacity of 14 patrons. Please consider this when planning to visit us in person to process your rates. We apologise for any delays in service.

    Direct Debit - Current Rates (2020/2021)

    Direct Debit for your current year's rates is available to ratepayers who are: either having financial difficulties and are unable to pay their rates as per the instalment options detailed on the rate notice; or simply wish to spread out the repayments while still finalising by the due date of the fourth instalment. Please contact the rates department on 9477 7222 to discuss your situation prior to completing the Customer Request for Direct Debit - Outstanding Rates. 

    Please note that at present Direct Debit is not available for any of the payment options as shown on your rate notice.

    Click here to complete the application.

    Direct Debit - In Advance (Pre-Paid)

    Once the current rates are finalised, you may wish to consider continuing with this method but as a Direct Debit Pre-Paid which enables you to get ahead on your rates, helping to reduce the stress of paying bills in full as they arrive.

    The first payment is deducted in April each year giving you the opportunity to pay over a 12 month period finalising the account around the end of the following March which is in line with the due date of the fourth instalment. This gives you the ability to make smaller more manageable payments over a longer period of time. This arrangement will automatically continue each year unless you advise the City in writing to terminate.

    Click here to complete the Customer Request.

    Please note that payments in advance will not be refunded.

    What instalment options are available for paying my rates?

    The City of Belmont offers three options for payment of rates.  

    1. Pay by the due date on your original rates notice and receive the discount as shown. 
    2. Two instalment option (incurs a $20 administration fee). All arrears, together with half the rates and charges and half of the administration fee are included in the first instalment. The second instalment is for the remainder of the rates and charges and the balance of the administration fee. This is due approximately four months after the original rate notice is due.
    3. Four instalment option. (This option incurs the $20 administration fee and a 5.5% instalment interest charge). All arrears are included in the first instalment together with a quarter of the current rates and charges. The balance of the account is equally split over three instalments due approximately two months apart. 

    In order to be eligible for options 2 or 3 it is very important that the first payment is made on the due date shown on your original rate notice. If the appropriate payment is not received by the due date, the instalment options are automatically deleted from your account. You will also start to incur late payment penalties.

    If you wish to take advantage of option 2 or 3 but are unable to make the first payment by the due date, please notify the rates department in writing before the due date detailing the circumstances and your estimated payment date. If approved, your account may be manually adjusted so that you can still take advantage of the instalment option.

    All instalment notices are issued approximately four weeks before payment is due. If an instalment is overdue, it will accrue penalties until it is paid in full.

     Please email the rates department at rates@belmont.wa.gov.au if you have any queries.  

    Why are instalment penalty charges charged if I don’t pay all at once?

    The $20 Instalment Fee is charged per instalment arrangement, not per payment. Hence the fee incurred will be $20 per arrangement (if the instalment option is elected by the rate payer).

    The inclusion of the small fees associated with payment by instalments, and interest on overdue rates where a ratepayer cannot be considered to be in hardship contribute to the associated costs and is also a practical mechanism to ensure that there remains an encouragement for payments to be made in a timely manner. If all ratepayers delayed their payments until 30 June 2021, the City would be unable to provide the services that the community needs during this time. This approach assists in ensuring that funds are available to provide appropriate assistance and services as required.

    For those experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the City’s Financial Hardship Policy allows for the waiving of these fees. To find out if you are eligible and apply click here.

    Has COVID-19 caused my rates to change?

    Not directly. Due to COVID-19 Council supported a 0% total rates revenue increase, which means the total amount of rates collected across the City is the same as last year, whereas in most years rates increase has been in line with CPI. Any change experienced to your individual rates notice is due to the State Government's triennial Gross Rental Valuation (GRV) which determines the portion of the rates you pay compared to your neighbours based on the potential rental value of your property.    

    How much of the City's revenue is funded by rates?

    Approximately 60% of all funding of City activities and services is generated through the collection of rates. The balance of funding is largely generated from State and Federal Government grants, other service fees and charges, and interest earned on reverse funding.