How are my Rates Calculated?

What do my rates pay for?

Your rates help the Colac Otway Shire deliver a diverse range of community services, as well as ongoing maintenance and development of critical infrastructure.  Rates help facilitate so much of what is essential in our everyday lives.  All property owners have a responsibility to pay a fair share of rates for the benefit of all community members.

Your rates help to fund more than 100 valued community services and local infrastructure for the whole community to enjoy - from footpaths, street lights, roads and bins to the parks, gardens, sports facilities and community events. Council removes your waste, provide free libraries, family day care, immunise babies and deliver meals to the homes of older people. 

Rates Capping

Each year the Minister for Local Government sets a cap on rate increases based on that period’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and advice from the Essential Services Commission (ESC).  

The rate cap does not apply to individual rates notices. The overall rate revenue collected by a council cannot exceed the current rate cap, but how much each property owner pays is determined by the value of your property.

Further information on Rates Capping can be found here

How are my rates calculated?

Council bases its rate calculation on the Capital Improved Value (CIV) of each individual property.  The rate in the CIV dollar is set by Council as part of its annual budget process and may include differential rates for different types of properties. 

Your annual rates notice covers the period from 1 July to 30 June each financial year.  Council has a differential rating structure, meaning that different types of properties and properties in different locations pay rates at a different rate in the dollar. Please refer to Rating Categories and Differential Rates(PDF, 456KB)  for further information on the categories and rates in the dollar.

The amount of rates and charges you pay is made up of the parts shown listed below.  Please refer to your rates notice for a breakdown of your rates charges for each of these categories.


How this part is calculated and what it’s used for

General  Rates

  • General rates are calculated by multiplying the 'Capital Improved Valuation' (CIV) of the property by a rate in the dollar.
  • General rates are used to pay for the provision of over 90 services to the community.

Municipal Charge

  • This charge is set by Council in its budget and applied to all properties, except eligible single farm enterprises.
  • The municipal charge pays for some of Council's administrative costs and is the same amount for all properties. Some single farm enterprises with multiple rates assessments are eligible for an exemption from this charge on some of their assessments.

Waste Management Charge

  • This charge is set by Council in its budget and is based on apportioning the cost of the kerbside waste collection service to all properties that receive a benefit from the service.
  • This charge pays for the cost of having contractors provide the kerbside collection service. All developed properties within the declared service areas are levied regardless of whether they use the service or not. Properties outside declared areas are not charged.

FSPL – Fixed (Fire Services Property Levy)

  • This is a fixed charge set by the State Government.
  • The money collected is used by the State Government to fund provision of fire services throughout Victoria.

FSPL – Variable

(Fire Services Property Levy)

  • This is a variable amount calculated by multiplying the Capital Improved Valuation (CIV) of the property by a rate in the dollar set by the State Government.
  • The money collected is used by the State Government to fund provision of fire services throughout Victoria.

If you require further assistance or advice, please contact the Rates Department on our  03 5232 9400, use the Contact Us form or email