From July 1, the Fire Services Levy will be removed from insurance premiums and replaced by a property-based levy collected with council rates. This change means all property owners will contribute a fair share to funding our fire services.
For more information visit the Fire Services Property Levy website.
Important information for Victorian property owners
How are Victoria’s fire services funded?
Prior to July 1, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority were funded by a Fire Services Levy that insurance companies applied to building and contents insurance premiums. The amount that policyholders were charged was at the discretion of the insurance companies.
Why is it being changed?
Under the old system, everyone received assistance from the State’s fire services, even though not everyone helped fund them. Also, many people paid more than their fair share. Finding the insurance-based levy unfair and lacking transparency, the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended replacing it with a property-based levy to make sure all Victorian property owners contribute a fair share.
How much will I contribute?
There will be a fixed charge of $107 for residential properties and $216 for non-residential properties, plus a variable cost based on your property’s capital improved value listed on your rates notice.
The Land use classifications and the rate in the dollar that applies to each classification is as follows:
- Commercial .000999
- Industrial .001574
- Primary Production .000248
- Public Benefit .000126
- Residential (including vacant residential land) .000122
- Vacant (excluding vacant residential land) .000467
Will there be any concessions?
Yes, there will be a $50 concession for eligible pensioners and veterans. Also, farmers with multiple properties that operate as a single enterprise will pay the fixed charge only once.
How else is it fairer?
The change removes the unfair ‘tax on tax’ that saw GST and stamp duty charged on top of the levy. Together with the new concessions, this will save households and businesses approximately $100 million each year.
How will I be protected during the transition?
The Fire Services Levy Monitor has been established to oversee the change from an insurance-based levy and to make certain that from July 1 insurance companies are no longer including charges on premiums.
Where do the funds go?
All funds collected by councils will go to supporting Victoria’s fire services.
Frequently asked questions
View a list of frequently asked questions about the Fire Services Property Levy.