City of Wodonga

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Frequently asked questions


How are general rates calculated?

The formula for calculating general rates, excluding any additional charges or arrears, is:

General rates = Valuation x Rate in the dollar

Details of the council valuation of your property are displayed on your rate notice.


What is a valuation and how are they valued?

A valuation is an assessment of the market value of a property, at a specific date and in accordance with relevant legislation and legal precedent.

Property values are determined by analysis of market sales and rental evidence, which is then applied to the data on each particular property.

Data is compiled on each property over time, through inspection, building and planning permits and other public sources.

The valuer builds a profile of value levels for each different area/property type by analysis of recent sales and leasings.

This information is then applied to individual properties, taking into account the different characteristics of each property.

Sales information is available to the council (under property sales law, councils must be notified of property sales).

Data on property rentals and expenses is obtained from owners and tenants.

Valuers also have powers to obtain additional information.

This generally is done through request but a valuer can enter onto any property “at any reasonable time” and may request any information that will help make a true and correct valuation.

This may be done, for example, where an internal property inspection is needed to provide sufficient information to ensure an accurate valuation.

Normally, however, the inspection is arranged with the owner/occupier of the property.


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Why are valuations important?

All properties in your municipality - and across Victoria - now are valued on a common date. For the 2016-2017 financial year, your property has been valued through a general valuation as at January 1, 2016.

A general valuation establishes the value of a property relative to all other properties.

This means its market relativity, not just between residential properties but also between residential and rural, and commercial and industrial properties.

This relativity determines how the rates cost is shared – properties with higher market value are charged higher rates than properties of lesser value.

This is an important fact to remember – relativity, not necessarily a change in property value, determines whether a property’s rates charges will change following a general valuation.


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Who carries out valuations and how often?

The requirements of municipal valuation are governed by law - the Valuation of Land Act 1960.

This was amended in 1998 to introduce two-yearly (bi-annual) valuations from the 2000 general valuation onwards.

Further amendments have affected the objection process.

In addition, the Valuer General Victoria introduced standard property data requirements for councils, under an initiative known as Valuation Best Practice.

From 2000, under Valuation Best Practice, your municipality has conducted general valuations at two yearly intervals.

Only qualified valuers - professionals holding recognised tertiary qualifications and with the required practical experience - can perform municipal valuations.

They may be employed as council staff or on contract.

They operate under the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.

For example, all valuers must declare impartiality before undertaking valuations and undertake to perform all valuations to the best of their ability and judgement.


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What to do first if you don’t agree to the values placed on your property?

Please phone our customer service team on (02) 6022 9300 to discuss your valuations.

In the event that your inquiry cannot be resolved and you wish to talk to the valuer, that option will be made available to you and details of the appointment time will be made.


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What is the process for objecting to a valuation?

You may object to a valuation.

The objection can be made in relation to the value of a property or on other grounds specified in the Valuation of Land Act 1960.

An objection generally must be made within the two months of the date of the rate notice.

An objection should include the prescribed information.

To ensure you include all of these items, it is suggested you obtain a pro forma objection form, available from this website.

Before seeking an objection form, try to discuss and resolve your valuation questions with the valuer.

After receiving an objection, a valuer must discuss the matter with the objector.

If not satisfied with the decision, the objector may appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), or to the Supreme Court.

If you object to a valuation, you still must pay rates by the due date.

Failure to pay rates by the required date generally results in interest being imposed.


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Will I pay interest for a late payment?

Late rate payments and unpaid rates generally attract an interest charge. Interest on an instalment is calculated from the date the instalment was due.

This means that a late payment of an instalment can attract interest calculated over several months.

If you have any difficulty meeting rate payments, contact us on (02) 6022 9300.


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Does Wodonga Council have a municipal charge?

In addition to general rates, some councils levy a municipal charge – generally a set amount on each property.

We do not currently have a municipal charge.


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Does Wodonga Council have service charges?

Yes. Provision for specific service such as waste collection carries a fee. This will be listed and explained on your rates notice.


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SOURCE: Based on information from the Municipal Group of Valuers – June, 2012.

 


Last updated: 07-07-2016

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