Council to collect new Fire and Emergency Services Levy on behalf of NSW Government

05/05/2017

On 1 July 2017, the NSW Government will introduce a new system for collecting funding for fire and emergency services across the state.

The new system will see all NSW Councils collect a Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) on behalf of the State Government from property owners alongside their usual Council rates.

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 members of the community who insure their properties are subsidising households who don’t purchase home and contents insurance.

Georges River Council Administrator, John Rayner, 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 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.”

“Property owners and businesses within the local government area 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 Georges River Council will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for the next three years.”