Your Rates Questions Answered

1. How are my rates calculated?

  • As per the Valuation of Land Act 1978 there are two basis of valuations
    • Gross Rental Valuation (GRV), and
    • Unimproved Valuation.
  • Rates are calculated by multiplying either the Gross Rental Value (GRV) or Unimproved Value (UV) assigned to the property by the differential rate in the dollar set by the Council, subject to a minimum payment.

2. Terminology of 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. For non-residential properties, GST is also included.
  • The Valuer General has revalued all GRV properties. The GRV applied is based on a date of valuation being August 1, 2018.
  • The size of the dwelling (i.e. one storey or two), location of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a pool, and the age of the house are factors that will affect the Gross Rental Value applied to the property by the Valuer General.

You can find out more about Gross Rental Value (GRV) by viewing informative videos on the Landgate website

3. 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.

Where the land is predominately used for rural purposes and a livelihood is derived from the land, the land is assessed on the value of the site without improvements. UV properties are revalued every year. The Minister for Local Government determines whether GRV or UV is appropriate. Valuations are carried out by the Valuer General at Landgate.

The Valuer General provides the City with values for all properties within the City of Swan, either the GRV or UV depending on predominant land usage. This value is then multiplied by either the GRV or UV rate in the dollar determined by council to calculate rates for each individual property.

You can find out more about Unimproved Value (UV) by viewing informative videos on the Landgate website

4. Unimproved Value (UV) Review

The City will not be undertaking a review of the method of valuation applied to properties within its district until after the State Government’s review of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) has been legislated. Find out more about the Unimproved Value (UV) Review.

5. Objection against the Basis of Valuation applied to my property

  • If you believe your valuation is incorrect you may lodge an objection with the Valuer General.
  • The objection must be lodged within 60 days after the issue of a rate notice (where the valuation is used as the basis for calculation of the rate), or notification of the making of the valuation in the Government Gazette.
  • For information on how your values are calculated and how to lodge an objection, please visit Landgate’s website or alternatively call Landgate Customer Service on 08 9273 7373.  

6. Objections and Reviews

Objections to the Rate Book must be made in writing to the City within 42 days of the date of issue of the Rate Notice. The grounds on which objections may be made are outlined in the Local Government Act 1995, Section 6.76. The ratepayer should note that the rates must be paid as assessed irrespective of whether an objection has been lodged. Any reduction in rates as a result of a successful objection will be credited. 

7. Farmland Differential Rating Category

 The City of Swan offers a Farmland Differential Rating category which relates to land where the predominant purpose for which it is held or used is farming.

The Farmland Differential Rate applies to all properties carrying on farming activities in line with the City's Farmland Guidelines. It is intended that this differential rate will foster and encourage farming and horticultural activities.

If you think your property may be eligible, please complete the Farmland Rating Category Application and Guidelines(PDF, 133KB) (within 42 days of the rate notice issue date).

For more information please read the Farmland Rating Category application and guidelines above, or contact the City's Rating Services on (08) 9267 9160.

8. Minimum payment charges

  • As per section 6.35 of the Local Government Act 1995 Council is able to set a minimum amount payable for properties in its district, which is greater than the general rate which would otherwise be payable on that land.
  • View the minimum payments for 2021/22.

9. Instalment Charges

  • As per section 6.45 of the Local Government Act 1995 the City offers the option of payment of Rates and Charges by four instalments (total Rates and Charges has to be greater than $200.00).
  • In the ordinary Council Meeting July 7, 2021, Council resolved not to charge interest or an administration fee for ratepayers entering into the formal rates instalment program (four instalments option).

Late payment penalty interest

  • As per the Local Government Act 1995 Council is able to charge penalty interest on late payments.
  • In the Ordinary Council Meeting July 7, 2021 it was adopted to reinstate penalty interest for the 2021/22 financial year at three per cent (3%) per annum to accrue daily on all overdue rates and specified area rates.
  • Emergency service levy (ESL) penalty interest will be accruing daily at seven per cent (7%) per annum on all overdue ESL charges as determined by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

10. Alternative Payment Methods

  • If you cannot pay by one of the payment methods shown on the Annual Rate Notice 1) Payment in full or 2) four instalment option, Council is able to offer other payment options.
  • The City can offer either a set weekly or fortnightly Direct Debit. Use the online form or alternatively contact the City's Rates Department on 9267 9160 to organise.
  • As adopted by Council, penalty interest at three per cent (3%) per annum will be accruing daily on all overdue rates and special area rates.

11. Midland and Guildford Drainage Specified Area Rate

  • The Water Corporation does not perform drainage works, or levy a drainage rate, in the Midland, Guildford, South Guildford, Woodbridge and parts of Viveash and Hazelmere.
  • The City is responsible for construction and maintenance of drainage infrastructure within this area, and the total cost to carry out these works over a number of years is estimated at $25 million.
  • This Specified Area Rate is shown separately on your Rate Notice.
  • The calculation method for the Specified Area Rate is the same as the calculation of your Rates 'GRV multiplied by the rate in the dollar'. 
  • The rate in the dollar for Midland Drainage is $0.006578 and $0.006657 for Hazelmere/Guildford Drainage for 2021/22. 

12. Hazelmere Industrial Area Infrastructure Specified Area Rate

  • From July 1, 2015, Council introduced two (2) Specified Area Rates "GRV Hazelmere Industrial Area Infrastructure and UV Hazelmere Industrial Area Infrastructure" based on the basis of valuation applied to the property, either GRV or UV.
  • The City is responsible for construction and maintenance of the roads, footpaths and drainage infrastructure in the current and future industrial areas in Hazelmere.
  • The total cost to carry out these numbers of works over a number of years is estimated at $69 million.
  • This Specified Area Rate is shown separately on your rate notice.
  • The calculation method for the Specified Area Rate is the same as the calculation of your rates - GRV or UV multiplied by the rate in the dollar.
  • The rate in the dollar for 2021/22 for GRV rated properties is $0.03896277.
  • The rate in the dollar for 2021/22 for UV rated properties is $0.00107720.

13. Security Service Charge 

The Community Security Patrols in Ellenbrook were discontinued from June 30, 2018.

A security patrol service for The Vines recommenced on July 1, 2019 after community feedback for the service to return. The annual charge is set at $196.25.

14. Swimming Pool Inspection Fee

The annual fee per swimming pool/spa barrier inspection is $38.00.

State Government Legislation requires the City to physically inspect the safety barriers for all private swimming pools and spas to ensure compliance with safety standards. The fee charged to property owners is to cover this requirement. If your pool/spa is removed, please advise the City in writing to ensure this charge is cancelled.

For further information on the Licence Inspection process please contact the City on 9267 9267.