Your property is valued every year by an independent valuer appointed by the Valuer-General of Victoria (State Government). The Valuer-General does not take instructions from Council, it is a completely independent process that occurs in every municipality every 12 months.
The latest valuation occurred in 2022 and considers the value of your land and any improvements that you’ve made to your house over time. It also considers the housing market and the prices for which properties have sold in your neighbourhood in the past 12 months. Valuations reflect the value of your property as of 1 January each year.
While Wellington Shire Council issues your valuation notice on behalf of the state government, Council is not involved in the annual property revaluation process. If you disagree with the state government’s valuation of your property, you can lodge an objection via the state government’s website.
Property prices have increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, so many properties have been valued significantly higher than previous years. This may vary depending on the location of your property within the Wellington Shire municipality.
Put simply, no. An increase in your property valuation does not mean that your rates amount will increase by the same percentage. Keep reading for more information about how rates are calculated.
From time to time, a supplementary valuation may be made when property value has changed due to a new dwelling, factory, demolition of a building, water infrastructure, fencing or other improvements. Supplementary valuations are carried out between ordinary valuations in order to bring these properties in to line and are based on the same levels of value used for the general valuation.
Supplementary rates notices may be issued based on the new valuation anytime during the year.
Each year the State Government sets a rate cap. This cap limits the increase from the previous year in overall revenue that councils can collect through general rates.
The rate cap applies to the total average rates collected by Council, and not to individual rates notices. The cap for the 2022/23 financial year is 1.75% which means that Council can only raise 1.75% more revenue than the last year.
Since this increase limit applies to properties as an average across the municipality, your individual rates this year may be either higher or lower than the average 1.75% increase.
Rates are paid on the value of a property compared to the value of other properties in the same municipality. If an individual property is valued higher than the municipality’s property value average, the ratepayer (owner) pays a higher proportion of rates.
Remember, your valuation is done by the State Government, not Council.
The rate cap applies to the total rate revenue collected and not your individual property. This general rates amount is then split among all ratepayers depending on property values and categories.
Council determines the amount of money that can be raised, while staying within the cap. This amount is divided by the total value of all rateable properties in Wellington to determine the Rate in the Dollar.
Council’s Rate in the Dollar is then used to determine how much each property owner needs to pay for their share of rates. Your property valuation is multiplied by the Rate in the Dollar to determine your rate payment amount. The garbage charge, waste infrastructure charge and EPA Levy Charge will be calculated separately as required.
The Rate in the Dollar changes each year to make sure Council cannot collect more revenue than the cap will allow. Please refer to the Rates webpage for the current Rate in the Dollar.
It is a common myth that Councils can request the Valuer-General to increase property valuations in order to generate more rate revenue.
Wellington Shire Council collects rate payments from home, business and farm ratepayers.
While not every person utilises every service provided by Council, your rate payments fund lots of important services for the whole community.
• Sport and recreational facilities
• Parks and open spaces
• Roads, footpaths and bridges
• Social programs for adults and youth
• Community services such as leisure, arts and culture facilities
• Support for small business and local investment
• Advocacy on behalf of the Wellington community to other levels of government
• Tourism campaigns
• Emergency management including relief and recovery
Rates not only fund the actual delivery of all these services, they also allow Council to undertake strategic planning to make sure it is done right.
All municipalities vary in size and have a different number of rateable properties. The lower the number of properties, the higher the proportion of rates that is shared amongst ratepayers. Often, councils with a large area to manage have a smaller proportion of properties. This is the case in Wellington and the only way to reduce rates significantly is to reduce the services or capital works provided.
Councils located closer to Melbourne have a larger number of ratepayers and less area to maintain, so rates are typically lower.
Wellington Shire Council funds more than 120 services, many which you would come into contact with every day and not even notice. In addition to recreation and art facilities, your rates pay for your share of social programs, local business investment, parks and gardens, maintenance of roads, bridges, footpaths, walking tracks, grants for community programs and facilities. Paying your share of these services is part of living in a functional and active society.
In the first instance, if you disagree with your property valuation by the Valuer-General, you can object and ask for a review via the state government's online portal within 60 days from your valuation notice issue date, please click here.
Your objection may take up to four months to be reviewed by the state government and valuers. During this time you must continue to pay your rates as per your most recent rates notice.
Once the review has taken place: