How rates are calculated

We use a formula to work out how much your rates will be. 

How do rates work?

  1. Each year, Councillors set the rates income for the delivery of Council services (this is capped by the Victorian Government).
  2. This gets divided by the total value of all properties in the shire. 
  3. That figure is multiplied by the value of your property.  
  4. Then we add a fee for your rubbish collection
  5. The Victorian Government adds a fee for emergency services
  6. We subtract discounts and rebates.  

What you see on your rates notice

  • "Rate in the dollar" x "Capital Improved Value" (CIV) = rate payable 
  • Add the Waste Charge and the Fire Services Property Levy   
  • Subtract any concessions and rebates (if eligible).




Now what does that mean?

What's Capital Improved Value?

Capital Improved Value just means the market value of the property, including land value and all improvements (buildings, houses, etc.).

One quick, important point

Your rates notice will give you the ‘Capital Improved Value’, or CIV (which we use here), as well as your ‘Site Value’, or SV. You don't need to add them together - the Site Value is one part of the Capital Improved Value. 

What's the rate in the dollar?

Every Council calculates this figure annually. It is the total rates income to operate Council services, divided by the value of all properties in the shire.

For example - if rates were set at $13.5 million, and the value of all properties was assessed at $3.5 billion, the 'rate' is 0.0039. If your property is worth $600,000, your rate is 0.0039 x 600,000, or $2,340.

For a house worth $1,000,000, the rate is $3,900.

This average ensures people pay rates fairly, based on the value of their property. People who can afford a more expensive property pay a higher rate.

The percentage is the same for every residential property – your rates are determined by the value of your property.

What’s the ‘waste charge’?

This is a fee the Council charges to cover the cost of collecting your bins and removing the rubbish. For most people, this is your green- or red-lid general waste bin. We charge a higher fee for the larger, 140 litre bins.

What’s the Fire Services Property Levy?

This is a Victorian Government fee to help support our emergency services during bushfire and flood events. This is a higher fee for non-residential properties. 

What concessions might be subtracted?

The pensioner rebate is available to some residents.

If you are facing financial troubles, and need assistance, read about how we might be able to help



Let’s walk through some examples.

Residential example

Jenny owns her house in Newstead. In 2022, her house and land was worth $600,000.

We had all properties in the shire independently valued at a total of $3.5 billion. The revenue to pay for roads, bridges, maintaining parks and more was $13.5 million. The rate per residential property was calculated at $0.002398.

Jenny’s rates before levies and charges:

$600,000 x $0.002398 = $1,438.80 per year, or $55.39 per fortnight.

Then we add the waste charge.

Jenny has a small general waste bin, so the charge is $450.

The State Government’s fire service levy for Jenny is $125.

$1,438.80 (rates) + $450 (waste charge) + $125 (fire levy) = $2,013.80, or $77.45 per fortnight. 

Jenny also received the pension, and so receives the maximum pension rebate of $253.60.

So her total rates bill is $1,760.20, or $67.70 per fortnight.

Commercial example

Marco owns a building in Castlemaine which he rents out to a retail shop. The property is valued at $800,000.

In this example, our commercial rate is $0.0031174 (commercial properties are charged an additional 30% than residential properties). This is based on the same calculation as our residential properties.

Marco’s rates before levies and charges:

$800,000 x 0.0031174 = $2,493.92, or $95.92 per fortnight.

We don't collect commercial waste, so there is no waste charge. 

The State Government charges a fire service levy $254.

$2,493.92 (rates) + $254 (fire levy) = $2,747.92, or $105.69 per fortnight.


You can also try our rates calculator to see how it works in practice. 

Click here to view form.

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