Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL)

The issue

An inequitable fire services levy included on property insurance premiums meant only insured property owners were contributing to the cost of funding the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).

The advocacy

The VFF lobbied the State Government to replace the Fire Services Levy with a more equitable Fire Services Property Levy to be collected through local councils. The VFF influenced the government decision on reducing the FSPL from 52 cents/$1000 of CIV to 31 cents, which in 2016-17 has been further reduced to 26 cents in CFA regions and 14.5 cents MFB regions.  

This advocacy has collectively saved Victorian farmers $25 million per year.

The outcome

Local councils collect a fire services property levy on behalf of the CFA and the MFB.

Contributions are based on a property’s value.

A fixed charge of $105 for residential and $213 for non-residential properties applies for the 2016-17 year and a variable cost.

The variable cost is calculated depending on the type of property owned, its capital improved value (CIV) and which fire service covers the area. The CFA variable levy rate for primary production in 2016-17 is 26 cents per $1000 of capital improved value. The MFB variable levy rate for primary production in 2016-17 is 14.5 cents per $1000 of capital improved value.

The State Government continues to make a statutory contribution of 12.5 per cent of the MFB budget and 22.5 per cent of the CFA budget to fund the state’s fire services.