Kiama council has advised of changes to rates notices due to the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy by the state government.
General manager Michael Forsyth said from July 1, 2017, councils were required to collect the Levy, alongside rates, on behalf of the state government.
“Ratepayers will see the FESL included on their rates notices, beginning with the first instalment in the 2017/18 financial year, which is due on August 31, 2017,” Mr Forsyth said.
“The FESL replaces the emergency services contributions collected by insurance companies as part of their premiums.”
Mr Forsyth said the Levy charged depended on whether a property was classified as residential, farmland, industrial, commercial or public benefit. Vacant land will incur a reduced levy.
“The FESL classification of land will be provided to ratepayers with the next instalment notice, which will be posted out next week.
“Ratepayers who disagree with their property’s classification can request a review by contacting council.
“While council is responsible for managing the classification of land for the purposes of the FESL, the rate used to calculate the levy is set by the NSW government.
“Part of the calculations includes the funding targets for the fire brigades, rural fire brigades and state emergency services that the FESL supports.”
Mr Forsyth said councils forward all the money collected through the FESL to the state government.
Landowners with questions about the classification of their properties can contact Kiama council on 4232 0444.
Further information about the levy is available from the state government by phoning 1300 787 872 or visiting: www.fireandemergencyserviceslevy.nsw.gov.au.