Rates FAQ

Pie chart showing the percentage breakdown of expenditure.

Budget and rates information 2023/2024 - City Budget

The City Budget newsletter is sent out with your annual rate notice and provides an overview of the City's 2023/2024 Annual Budget. It includes information about how your rates have been calculated and payment options.

Frequently asked questions about rates

What are local government rates and who pays them?

Local government rates are a contribution each property owner makes towards the cost of providing facilities and services in their local community.

Anyone owning residential, rural, vacant, industrial or commercial property in the City of Rockingham is a ratepayer. Some government bodies, educational and registered charitable organisations are exempt from paying rates.

Where does the money go?

Rates are used to build and maintain the City’s beaches, roads, parks, gardens, sporting facilities and to operate a multitude of community services.

Rates make up the majority of our income and are essential to its ability to provide services to the community.

When does the rate year run?

The rate year is 1 July to 30 June, the same as the City's financial year.

When will new rates be issued?

Rate notices can be issued any time after 1 July. Typically it will occur in the first few weeks of the new financial year. You can register for eRates to have your annual and instalment notices emailed to you.

How are my rates calculated?

How much you pay depends on the value of your property. This value is determined by the State Government’s Landgate (formerly Valuer General’s Office [VGO]) in one of two ways, depending on the type of property you own:

  • For properties that are predominately used for rural purposes, the Unimproved Value (UV) of the land is used. This is an estimate of the value of the land of the property assuming no improvement on the land.

  • For properties that are predominately used for non-rural purposes, such as residential, industrial and business, the Gross Rental Value (GRV) is used. This is the estimate of the total rent that may be received from the property in one year.  For more information on GRV and UV, visit the Landgate websiteopens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window.

This value is then multiplied by the City's rate-in-the-dollar to determine your property’s annual rates.

For example:

GRV of $250 per week x 52 weeks = $13,000

$13,000 x rate-in-the-dollar = Rates total.

The City’s rate-in-the-dollar is determined each year at budget time. Rates-in-the-dollar may vary for different categories of UV or GRV properties. This is called a Differential Rating System.

Each year a minimum rate applies which is the minimum amount any property owner will be asked to contribute. This ensures a fair contribution is made by all property owners, regardless of their property’s value.

What if I think my property use will change in the future?

If your property use changes, you can apply to the City of Rockingham to have it reassessed by completing a Land Use Declaration Form. Please refer to the Rating Review Frequently Asked Questions document below.

How do property valuations impact my rates?

The video below produced by Landgate explains the relationship between property valuations and local government rates.


What is GRV and how does it affect my rates?

Learn how a GRV is determined and what it is used for.

The video below produced with the WA Local Government Association explains the relationship between property prices and local government rates.


Your Rates and the Property Market

Local government rates are not directly linked to property prices.

What are the other charges on my rate notice?

A separate charge is levied for your property’s rubbish service for the year. This fee covers a:

  • 140-litre waste bin, collected weekly

  • 360-litre recycling bin, collected fortnightly

  • 240-litre green waste bin, collected on the alternative fortnight to recycling

An annual swimming pool inspection fee may appear on your notice if you have a swimming pool or spa. This covers the cost of a compulsory pool fence inspection every four years at your property.

In addition to the above, all local governments since 2003/2004 are required to collect the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

The ESL funds Western Australia's fire and emergency services, including all career fire stations, volunteer fire brigades, State Emergency Service (SES) units and the multi-purpose volunteer emergency service units.

All local governments since 2003/2004 are required to collect the ESL for Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

For more information about the ESL, call DFES on 1300 657 209 or visit the DFES websiteopens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window.

What is Rates Smoothing?

Rates Smoothing is a flexible payment arrangement that enables you to pay your rates off in equal weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments. Visit the payment options page for full details of this simple approach to paying your rates.

How can I check my account balance?

If you would like to find out if there is anything owing on your account, please contact the Rates team on 9528 0333opens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window or sign in to the City's secure online portal Rock Portopens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window where you can view the balance of your rates account and make a payment.

Can I object to paying my rates?

It is possible for you to object to your property’s rate record in two circumstances:

  • If you are not the owner of the property for which you have received a rate notice
  • You believe your property is non-rateable.

You can appeal your rate notice by contacting the City on 9528 0333opens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window within 42 days of your rate notice being issued.

Objections to your property’s valuation should be directed to Landgate within 60 days of your rate notice being issued. Call 9273 7373opens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window or visit Landgate's websiteopens in a new windowopens in a new windowopens in a new window.

See the reverse of your rate notice for more information.

What if I have moved?

If you have changed ownership of a property or moved house please contact us within 21 days to complete a change of name/address or change of ownership form.

Keeping our records up to date means we can ensure rate notices are forwarded to the correct address and avoids customers incurring any unwanted penalties including interest on overdue rates.

I am about to sell my property and there are still rates to be paid – how is this worked out?

This is done by your settlement agent at settlement who will apportion the rates accordingly between the buyer and seller.

Why have I received an Interim Rates Account?

If there is a change which affects the amount of rates owing on a property, the owner will be sent an Interim Rates Account. The most common reasons why Interim Rates Accounts are sent are:

  • a new property/subdivision (i.e. vacant land)
  • a new house/building completed
  • waste/rubbish service charge
  • demolition of a building
  • additions/extensions to a house/building

For more information, read the Interim Rates Account Explained brochure.

What can I do if I am experiencing difficulty in paying my rates?

If you are experiencing difficulties in paying your rates, please contact us on customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au or call us on 9528 0333.

The City has also adopted a Financial Hardship Policy for residential and small business ratepayers. Visit the payment options page for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Is there more information available on Landgate?

Landgate has produced a range of videos which help to explain the Gross Rental Value (GRV) and Unimproved Value (UV).

To contact Landgate for further information, visit the Help Centreopens in a new window on its website.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact us with any questions or queries about your rates.

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