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Changes to the Fire Services Levy

The State Government has changed to the way the Fire Services Levy is collected.

From 1 July 2013, the Fire Services Levy was removed from insurance premiums and replaced by a property-based levy collected with council rates. This change means all property owners will contribute to funding our fire services.

Under the property based levy:

  • Councils collect the levy through your rates notice.
  • The levy consists of a fixed charge of $113.00 for residential properties and $230.00 for non-residential properties, plus a variable cost based on the Capital Improved Value (CIV) for 2020/2021.
  • The levy rate varies for different property types such as residential, commercial and industrial.
  • Separate levies are charged in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) areas in recognition of the different costs associated with funding each service.

How is Victoria's fire services funded?

Prior to 1 July 2013, 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 policy holders were charged was at the discretion of the insurance companies.

Why was it changed?

Under the old system, everyone had access to assistance from the State's fire services, even though not everyone helped fund them. The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended replacing it with a property-based levy to make sure all Victorian property owners contribute a fair share.

Are there any concessions?

The concession for the Fire Service Property Levy applies to those who are eligible to receive a concession from their local council for rates. The concession is a $50 reduction for the eligible pensioner’s property, which is used exclusively as the owners' principal place of residence.

This concession applies to holders of:

  • Pensioner concession cards issued under section 1061ZF of the Social Security Act 1991 of the Commonwealth.
  • Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Cards (TPI) - Totally and Permanently Incapacitated and War Widows.

Property owners who currently receive a council rates concession for their principal place of residence automatically receive the Fire Services Property Levy concession.

How much will I contribute?

The Fire Services Property Levy is calculated based on 4 main elements:

  • What fire services region are you in – (All Knox properties are located within the CFA Region).
  • Your classification code (from rates notice – resident, commercial, industrial etc).
  • Your Capital Improved Value.
  • If your eligible for concession.

To help you calculate how much you will pay, view the State Government’s Fire Services Property Levy calculator.

Where do the funds go?

All funds collected by councils will go to supporting Victoria’s Fire Services. For a list of the services that are provided by Victorian Fire Services please go to Fire Services Levy website.

For more information

For more information on the Fire Service Property Levy, please visit the Firelevy website or contact the Knox Customer Service team on 9298 8000.

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