Rates FAQs

General information about rates

Can I receive my rates notices by email?

Yes, the City provides the option of receiving your rates and instalment notices by email (eRates). Your six trailer passes will be posted out to you in due course. To register for this service, visit eRates Registration and sign up. 

What services do my rates pay for?

The Council provides many services including:

  • Libraries
  • Child, youth, family, seniors and aged services
  • Community centres and sporting facilities
  • Weekly collection of waste and recyclables, waste management and disposal
  • Maintenance and upgrading of roads, drainage and footpaths
  • Spot landscaping and beautification
  • Land use planning and regulation
  • Building licensing, regulation and advice
  • Provision and management of beautiful parks, reserves, sporting facilities and ovals 
  • Management of beaches and beach reserves
  • Management of lakes and nature reserves
  • Free family concerts and events
  • Generous community grants and donations programs
  • Health services for the regulation and inspection of food premises, dust and noise monitoring to protect and improve community amenities, and management of contaminated sites
  • Provision of public art.
The City will spend $215.3M on works and services in 2016/17, including $73M on capital projects.

This year, the City will commence and complete a number of major community infrastructure projects including the Cockburn Aquatic and Recreation Centre (ARC) and the new Bibra Lake Adventure Playground which incorporates references to the local environment, wildlife and the role it plays in the lives of local Aboriginal people.

The budget also includes the progressive refurbishment of older infrastructure, ensuring that the needs of the community continue to be met in a sustainable and responsible manner.
How many road side verge collections do I get throughout the year?
Council provide the following:
  • 4 verge collections
  • 2 general rubbish/junk collections
  • 2 green waste collections 
Find out more about verge collections.
When will I receive my rates notice?

The City of Cockburn annual rates notices are mailed out around July/August each year. You can also pay your rates in four instalments throughout the year.

If you do not receive your rates notices, please email us or call 08 9411 3444. Please provide the following details:

  • Full name
  • Contact details
  • Property address
  • Postal address
Why do I have to pay rates as I don’t use any of the facilities?

Every ratepayer uses one or more facilities provided by Council.

The moment you drive out of your property onto a road you are using a Council facility. If you live outside of the City and have a rental property, your tenant uses the Council's facilities.

What other charges are included in my rates?

The following annual charge is in addition to your rates and are shown on your rates notices as they apply to your specific property.

Emergency Services Levy (ESL) - State Government charge

A compulsory charge for all property owners issued by the State Government. The levy is used to cover the cost of providing emergency services across the State. For 2017-18, the levy increased by 3.35 per cent. For more information visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change in relation to your ownership or occupancy of the property, or your eligibility as a senior or pensioner, you must notify the Council and the Water Corporation who will amend your registration as appropriate. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of your rebate.

Visit the Change of Name/Address/Ownership page to advise the Council of your new details.

Will my property be re-valued this year?

Yes. GRVs (Gross Rental Valuations) are re-assessed every three years. This current GRV has a Date of Valuation of 1 August 2015. Rating valuations are assessed at a snapshot in time reflecting the property market for your local area at the same date.

Unimproved Valuations (UV) are valued annually.

If you have any questions regarding valuations, please visit the Landgate website or contact Landgate direct on 9273 7373 quoting your VEN number

Rebates and deferments

Is my property eligible for a rates concession?

Your property will receive a rates concession where it is a single dwelling under the Improved Residential property category and it has a Gross Rental Valuations (GRV) value that is $20,690 or greater.

Your rates brochure explains how you can work out the concession amount and includes a worked example.

I am a pensioner, can I get a concession on my rates account?

Provided pensioners meet the eligibility criteria, they will be entitled to claim up to 50 per cent of their current years rates which is capped to a maximum amount of $750 and 50 per cent of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) which is a State Government imposed charge to fund the fire brigade and the SES.

Full Pensioners are able to defer payment of their Rates and ESL charges.

Eligible ratepayers can register for a rebate online though the Water Corporation website. Simply follow the links to 'Concession', or contact them on 1300 659 951.

Seniors who meet the eligibility criteria are also entitled to claim a rebate of up to 25 per cent of Rates and ESL charges only and this rebate is capped to a maximum amount.  Seniors and Part Pensioners are not entitled to defer their rates or ESL charges.

How much is the 2017/2018 pension concession for my rates?

As part of the 2015/16 State Budget, the State Government announced that from the rating year commencing 1 July 2016, the 50 per cent concession allowed to eligible pensioners on local government rates would be restricted to a capped amount.  Western Australia was the only State not to provide a dollar cap on Local Government Rates.

The pensioner rates capped amounts will be set each year, consistent with the manner in which seniors rates caps are set.  The gazettal of the cap amount usually occurs in late June, prior to the commencement of the rating year.  The pensioner rate capped amount has been announced as $750 for 2017/18.

The City does not administer the laws in regards to pensioner concessions.  If you wish to lodge a complaint regarding the capping of the pensioner rebate you will need to contact your local Member of Parliament.

Factors affecting rate increases

Why have my rates gone up by more than inflation?

The City's workforce contributes the largest share of operating costs and these have gone up due to enterprise agreement commitments and growth related to increasing services to the community.

Above CPI increases have also applied to State Government utility, waste management and other charges the City must fund.

The City has also recently adopted detailed asset management plans which highlight the need for extra funding if existing service delivery levels are to be maintained over the long term from existing assets.

Responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of a rapidly growing asset base comprising new roads, footpaths and parks from new subdivisions has also added to the cost pressures faced by the City.

Why have my rates increased beyond average?

The City has continued to incorporate the waste and CoSafe charges into the rate in the dollar, similar to Melville, Fremantle and East Fremantle Councils. Council has done this so that pensioners will be entitled to a larger rebate even with the Government cap of $750.

Given pensioners are living on fixed incomes such as the age pension, many have been impacted by negative adjustments made in the recent Federal and State Government budgets. As such, this action will provide many of the approximately 6000 pensioners living in Cockburn with a bigger rebate, meaning they will pay less.

Payment options and instalment plans

What payment options do you offer?

The City offers a number of payment methods ranging from BPay, direct debit, internet, Centrepay and phone as well as paying in person at the Post Office and Council Offices. Direct Debit payments can be made in full, by instalment or via weekly or fortnightly arrangements from your cheque or savings account. The SmartRates direct debit option can only be made via weekly or fortnightly payments.

To find out more visit the Pay My Rates page.

I can’t afford to pay my rates, what can I do?
The Council is aware of ratepayers who are having financial difficulties. If you are unable to meet the required instalments offered by Council, please contact us to discuss a direct debit payment plan to suit your circumstances. All applications must be made in writing.

For more information email us or call 08 9411 3444.
How can the City help pensioners to pay their Rates?

This year pensioners will benefit from increased rebates because the Waste Management Service charge and the CoSafe Levy have been incorporated in the Rate in the Dollar and the minimum payment for owners of Residential properties.

Pensioners are encouraged to make a regular payment plan either by direct debit or through Centrepay, to pay off their rates each year. The Centrepay option is a free direct bill paying service for customers who receive a Centrelink payment.

For more information or assistance with your deduction request, visit Centrelink.

Obtaining a trailer pass

Am I entitled to trailer passes?

The City will issue you six free passes and for most ratepayers, the Council will provide four verge collections, two junk and two green waste collections.

The trailer pass vouchers are on your annual rates notice and are barcoded for electronic scanning, do not lose your rates notice as replacement trailer passes will NOT be issued.

Can I get additional trailer passes?

No. If you have used your six trailer passes you will have to pay when dumping your rubbish at the Henderson Waste Recovery Park.

Why do commercial and industrial properties not receive trailer passes?

Commercial and industrial premises generate more waste than residential owners. As such, trailer passes have never been extended to commercial and industrial property owners. Another reason is that many industrial property owners actually have private arrangements for their waste disposal due to the large volumes generated.

I have a vacant block of land. Why do I not receive trailer passes?

As vacant land owners do not pay the waste charge, they are not entitled to receive trailer passes as the cost of providing the trailer passes is built into the waste charge.

Feedback and complaints

If I am not happy with my rates, what can I do?
You have several options:
  • Contact the Rates Services team by email or call 08 9411 3444. Note: objections to your Rates Notice must be submitted in writing within 42 days of the notice issue date
  • Put any grievances in writing and address it to the CEO
  • ​As a question at a Council meeting (find out how to lodge a public question)
  • Speak to your Elected Member
  • Query a valuation
    • Your property's Gross Rental Valuation (GRV) or Unimproved Value (UV) are stated on your rates notice at the top right hand corner and are supplied to the City by the Valuer-General through Landgate Valuation Services. If you wish to query a valuation you can contact their office on 08 9273 7373.
    • Objections to your GRV/UV Valuations must be submitted in writing within 60 days of the notice issue date.
    • The making of an objection or appeal does not affect the liability to pay rates and charges by the due date. If the objection or appeal is successful, the rates will be amended, and a refund issued if applicable.
Is it better to put my grievance in writing and will I get a written reply? Who do I send it to?

All grievances should be put in writing and should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer.

All letters will be replied to as the matter is researched and hopefully resolved.

When are the next elections?

The next election is in October 2017.

Can I arrange a meeting with the Mayor?

All rates complaints are dealt with by the administration staff not the Mayor or Elected Members.

You can contact the Mayor or your Elected Member but the outcome will not differ unless there has been an error in preparing the assessment.

Can I go to a Council meeting and ask why the rates have increased?

All ratepayers can go to any Council meeting to ask why rates increase. It should be noted that if you wish to attend a Council Meeting to ask questions, you must lodge a public question form before 10am on the day of a Council Meeting.

Find out how to lodge a public question.

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9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

Po Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

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