Frequently Asked Questions

Can I find out my rates balance online?

Yes.  

All you have to do is request for a copy of your rates notice. This can be mailed out to you or sent via email.  

If I have misplaced my rates notice, can I get another copy?

Yes.  

The quickest way to request a copy of a rates notice or tip pass is online.

 

Can I get my rates notice send to my inbox instead of in the mail?

Yes.  

Receiving your rates notice electronically is environmentally friendly and makes it quick and easy to pay your rates online.

How is my property valued?

We value properties in Hume City on 1 January every year, following Victorian legislation. This is to ensure rates are assessed using current market values.

Property inspections are conducted externally by Certified Practicing Valuers and all relevant sales are analysed by the valuers to build a profile of the level of values for each particular area and property type. The information is then applied to individual properties, taking into account factors such as land size, age, building size and condition.

Has COVID-19 impacted valuations?

No.  

The 2020/21 valuations are based on valuations prior to the pandemic. 

The 2020 general valuation has a relevant date of 1 January 2020 and is therefore based on market conditions at, and immediately before, that date. There is no basis under the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (the Act) for valuers to consider COVID-19 impacts when assessing statutory values for the purposes of the 2020 general valuation. 

This means that rates assessment notices for 2020-21, to be issued from July to September 2020, will be based on valuations prior to the pandemic. Any market changes occurring now, or in the future, due to COVID-19 will be applicable to future revaluation cycles and reflected in subsequent rates assessment notices. 

Can I object my property valuation?

Not at this time.

Rate payers can object to their property valuations within two months of the date of the annual rates notice. The two month period for objecting to the valuations as listed on the Council rates notice officially closed on the 10th November 2020. The legislated timeframes set out in Section 18 of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 are obligatory. Neither Valuer-General Victoria nor a municipal council has the power to review the objection if it does not fall within the statutory time limit.

Can I get a concession?

You may be eligible for a concession from Council or from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) if you hold a concession card.

In addition to holding one of the concession cards below, you must also:

  • ensure your concession card is current and valid
  • be the person responsible for payment of the rates
  • have your name on the rates notice
  • make sure the name and address on your rates notice matches that on your concession card.

Apply for a Municipal Rates Concession 

Apply for a Pension Rebate Retrospective Claim 

If your concession is approved, you do not need to reapply each year. We will check with DHHS annually to find out if you are still eligible for your concession. If you are no longer eligible, we will contact you to advise you that the concession has been removed.

Can I create or change a payment plan?

Yes.  

You can arrange to pay your rates via direct debit or a payment booklet in:

  • Four instalments as per the due dates on your rates notice
  • Monthly payments starting 30 September and ending 31 May (9 total instalments per financial year); or
  • Weekly/ fortnightly payments

Set up a payment arrangement 

If COVID-19 has made it hard for you to pay your rates, there are a number of options available to you.

You can apply for a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit payment plan to spread the payment of your rates. If you currently have an existing payment plan set up with us, but now need to make changes, you can apply for a new payment arrangement.  

Create or change a COVID-19 payment arrangement 

You can also pay your rates by arranging a regular deduction from your Centrelink payment through Centrepay.

Pay via Centrepay(PDF, 137KB)

Can I defer my rate payments?

Yes.  

In cases of extreme financial hardship we will consider a short-term deferral of your rates.  

We would like to remind you that debt deferred is debt that will accumulate. We strongly encourage ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship to enter a payment plan to reduce the amount of debt owing by 31 December 2020. 

If you deferred your fourth instalment of your 2019/20 rates and want to defer your first instalment of your 2020/21 rates, you will need to go and fill out the financial hardship online form again

Will I have to show evidence of financial hardship for a payment plan?

No.  

We understand the coronavirus is having an enormous impact on our community. To support ratepayers during this time, we have introduced a quick and easy way for you to enter a payment plan. The application will take about five minutes to complete online and you will need your property number listed on your rates notice.   

Is Council charging interest on outstanding balance during COVID-19?

No.  

We understand coronavirus is having an enormous impact on our community. We will not charge interest on any outstanding debt between 1 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. Please note that the legislated penalty interest rate will apply to any debt outstanding as of 1 January 2021.  

Can I update my details with Council online?

Yes.

The quickest and easiest way to update your details with us is online.

How are my rates calculated?

Rates across Hume are calculated annually based on the total amount of money required to provide and maintain essential services and infrastructure for the Hume community. 

This income is then divided by the total combined value of all properties in Hume and is then known as the rate in the dollar, which for the 2020/21 financial year is $0.0033216.  

Capital Improved Value (CIV)

Council calculates rates for each property by multiplying its value by the rate in the dollar. This is the Capital Improved Value (CIV). The CIV is the total market value of the land plus buildings and any other improvements. 

For example, an owner of a property with a CIV of $500,000 will pay $1660.80 in rates.  

The calculation is:  

  • $500,000 x 0.0033216 = $1,660.80, excluding any extra waste service charges and state government fire services levy. 

This formula means that the higher the CIV of a property, the higher the rates for its owner. You can read more about how properties are valued below.

What is the Fire Services Levy?

Your rates notice also includes a separate Fire Services Levy, which we are obliged to collect on behalf of the State Government.

The Fire Services Property Levy includes a fixed charge of:

  • $111 for residential properties
  • $226 for non-residential properties.

For more information on the Fire Services Levy, visit firelevy.vic.gov.au or call 1300 300 635.

What is rate capping?

The State Government has capped rate increases at 2.5% for 2019/2020. We elected to apply the 2.5% increase, rather than seek an exemption from the cap. In 2020/21, the rate increase is 2%, which is in compliance with the State Government Rates Capping Legislation. 

It is important to remember that the cap does not apply to your individual bill but rather to the total amount of money that we are seeking from rates revenue. Most properties will experience rate increases that are slightly higher or lower than 2.5% in 2019/20 and 2% in 2020/21. 

To learn more, the Municipal Association of Victoria has produced a short video explaining rate-capping in simple terms. 

Can I apply for a Single Farm Enterprise Exemption?

Where multiple parcels of farm land are used to operate a single farming enterprise, a person may only be required to pay the fixed charge/municipal only charge once by applying for the single farming enterprise exemption.

To apply, a person must submit an application to the Council/s where the relevant properties are located via post. You must notify Council/s if the circumstances relating to your application change, as this may affect your eligibility for the exemption.

Download the single farm enterprise application form(DOC, 80KB)