Rates 20/21 Frequently Asked Questions

The rates calculation starts with determining the budget we need set to deliver our local services. This budget amount is then divided among rate payers, although not everyone pays the same amount.

Rates are calculated by multiplying a property’s valuation by the differential rate in the dollar set by Council. This is subject to a minimum payment which is set each year by the City.

Your valuation is determined by the Valuer General at Landgate, a separate organisation to the City of Swan. The Valuer General assigns non-rural properties a Gross Rental Value (GRV), and rural properties an Unimproved Value (UV).

Unimproved Value, or UV, is the value of land only. It does not include the value of your home, other structures or improvements. For land within the metropolitan area the UV does include merged improvements such as drainage, levelling and filling.

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. For non-residential properties, GST is also included.

Not necessarily. Valuations are not linked to the property market. Valuations are linked to the comparative value of each property – for example, someone with a two-bedroom home may pay a lesser share of rates than a neighbour with four bedrooms. This process protects ratepayers from long term market growth. For more information please visit Landgate's website

The relative value of each property is used as the basis to share out your Council’s budget. The City of Swan’s Annual Budget is based on a zero per cent increase to our total rates revenue, but shifts in the relative value of properties means that your rates may change.

Calculating rates is a three-step process.

  • Step 1: Last year’s rate in the dollar is multiplied by the proposed percentage increase. This will remain the same because the City of Swan Council agreed to a 0 per cent increase in rates revenue for 2020/21.  This equals the proposed rate in the dollar for the new year.
  • Step 2: The current GRV/UV (as at 1 April, 2020) is multiplied by the proposed rate in the dollar. This equals the amount levied.
  • Step 3: Total amount to be levied is divided by the total amount of new valuations set by the Valuer General’s Office. This equals the rate in the dollar for 2020/21.

The City of Swan applies differential rates by taking into account the levels of services provided to different types of properties, the cost of providing services to certain types of properties, as well as the need to encourage certain types of activities in the City. Non-rural properties may be categorised as residential, commercial/industrial or heavy industry. Rural properties may be categorised as general, commercial or farmland. There are also sub-categories for industrial and commercial categories.

The GRV is determined by the Valuer General's Office at Landgate, a separate organisation to the City of Swan. According to the Landgate website, the following aspects are considered:

  • 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.

For information on how your valuation is calculated and how to lodge an objection, please visit www.landgate.wa.gov.au/valuations or call Landgate Customer Service on 9273 7373.

Differential rates are reviewed every year as part of the annual budget process. The City of Swan has implemented a zero per cent increase for rates revenue 2020/21 from the same property base as last year. Differential rates are also affected by property revaluations conducted by the Valuer General’s Office at Landgate.

Our budgetary measures are designed to support you – our City residents, ratepayers and businesses during your time of greatest financial need. 

The City has used strict fiscal discipline to prepare a balanced budget with a zero per cent increase in rates revenue from the same property base as last year, while also bringing forward spending to stimulate the economy and assist the community and businesses to respond and recover through this pandemic.

Due to COVID-19, the City reviewed its strategies to provide assistance to our local community while balancing the budget to achieve a zero per cent rate increase. The City is continuously identifying and refining cost savings across all divisions while aligning to the continuously changing information about COVID-19. 

The Annual Budget was considered and adopted at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on July 1, 2020.

The City has adopted a zero percent increase in rate revenue for 2020/21, which means we will collect the same total rates revenue from the same property base as we did last year.

Along with many other local governments around Western Australia, the City of Swan requested that the Minister for Local Government and the State Treasurer defer their revaluation, which is due to occur in 2020/21, by 12 months to ensure rates would truly freeze for our ratepayers in this critical time. However, the State Treasurer has advised that revaluations will proceed. 

This year is a revaluation year, which means when combined with the City’s new rates in the dollar, some properties may pay more in rates, while some may pay less.  

 

The City has adopted a zero percent increase in rate revenue for 2020/21, which means we will collect the same total rates revenue from the same property base as we did last year.

This year is a revaluation year, which means when combined with the City’s new rates in the dollar, some properties may pay more in rates, while some may pay less. 

We understand our community is doing it tough in the current circumstances and we’ve put measures in place to help you. The City offers a range of flexible rate payment options for individuals and businesses. We have also established a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy(PDF, 52KB), which allows those experiencing financial hardship to apply for a range of mechanisms to assist.

We encourage you to head to our Extreme Financial Hardship page – or call us on 9267 9267 or email swan@swan.wa.gov.au – for more information.

We understand our community is doing it tough in the current circumstances and we’ve put measures in place to help you. We will provide rate relief through flexible payment options and the creation of a City of Swan COVID-19 policy to govern debt recovery during the State of Emergency. We are suspending debt recovery for rates and other debt owed to the City for rate payers, community groups and businesses that are adversely affected by COVID-19 for a period of six months following the standing down of the State of Emergency declaration. We encourage you to contact our Rating Services team on 9267 9267 to discuss your options.

Your rates are critical in allowing us to deliver essential services and projects that will sustain our community for many years to come. Rates are used to fund and maintain a wide range of services and facilities, including: libraries, leisure and aquatic centres, waste management, roads, footpaths, parks, reserves, recreation halls, community care, graffiti removal, health services, business development, community safety advocates, urban planning, environmental planning and rehabilitation, tourism development, community development and much more.

While some of our traditional services have changed due to COVID-19, we are delivering an advanced service offering that includes online library programs, digital resources, a click and collect service from the library collections, online health and fitness programs and more. We have also redeployed some staff from their usual activities to take part in volunteer work, such as delivering food to people in need at this time.

We are working hard to safely and responsibly reopen our facilities and bring back services for our community in line with direction from the State and Federal Governments.