Fire and Emergency Services Levy

On 1 July 2017, a fairer system for collecting the NSW Government levy that funds fire and emergency services across the state will come into effect.

NSW councils will now collect the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) from property owners alongside their rates, on behalf of the NSW Government.

Currently, individuals and businesses that buy property insurance contribute most of the funding for NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service to protect the community from fire, floods and other natural disasters.

This means that NSW property owners who insure their properties are subsidising households who don’t purchase home and contents insurance.

Murrumbidgee Council Administrator, Austin Evans, said the levy, to be paid by all property owners, is not part of Council’s rates and will be clearly identified as a separate item on the rates notice.  The new Levy will appear on the Council rates notices which will be issued in July this year.

“The amount of the Fire and Emergency Service Levy for each property will be set by the NSW Government and determined by land classifications and unimproved land values,” he said.

“The NSW Valuer General is responsible for determining unimproved land values, while councils identify which land classification properties fall into.”

 If you disagree with your property’s classification, you can request a review by Murrumbidgee Council via phone 1300 676243.

Mr Evans said fire and severe weather events do not discriminate, and the community rightly expects that fire fighting and SES services are available to everyone in their time of need.

“Only last year the Murrumbidgee Council area experienced a flood event requiring the much needed assistance of our local RFS/SES,” Mr Evans said.

“It is only fair that all property owners contribute to these services rather than relying on the insured.

“Local property owners and businesses can rest assured that while Council will now be collecting the Fire and Emergency Services Levy, their rates remain protected.”

The NSW Government’s rate protection commitment means residents of the new council will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for the next three years.

For more detailed information on the NSW Government’s Fire and Emergency Levy, visit: www.fesl.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 78 78 72.