Councils help local communities run smoothly, they administer various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. These services include community services, sporting and recreation services, environmental planning and protection, public health and waste services. The purpose of raising rates is to support the council in providing these services for the benefit of all residents.


Rates help pay for:

  • waste and recycling collection & disposal
  • animal control
  • community safety initiatives
  • street lighting and cleaning
  • local roads, footpaths and drainage
  • operation of halls and community centres
  • maintenance of parks, playgrounds and sportsgrounds
  • youth, family and senior services
  • community events
  • State Government charges for a range of services including fire service, planning and libraries
  • other works, programs and facilities.


Anyone owning residential, rural, vacant, industrial or commercial property in the Shire of Wandering is a ratepayer, and Council may make a general rate whether or not it provides any services to the land upon which the rating is made.


General rates

A general rate is a 'progressive' tax, reflecting the Unimproved value (rural properties) and the Gross Rental Value (urban properties).


Service rate or charge

A council may make a service rate for any, all, or a combination of the following services:

  • Refuse Collection
  • any other prescribed service.

Minimum Rates

As per section 6.35 of the Local Government Act 1995 Council is able to set a minimum amount payable for properties in its district, which is greater than the general rate which would otherwise be payable on that land.


Terminology of GRV

The Gross Rental Value means the gross rental that the land might reasonably be expected to realise if let on a tenancy from year to year upon condition that the landlord were liable for all rates, taxes and other charges thereon and the insurance and other outgoings necessary to maintain the value of the land.

The Valuer General revalues all rural properties annually, and urban properties every five years.


Separate Rates

A council may make a separate rate in respect of any land or class of land within its municipal area. This may occur where, in Council's opinion, there is a need to plan, carry out, make available, maintain or improve anything on behalf of the affected land, or owners or occupiers of that land.

If a council decides to make a separate rate it must undertake a consultation process with the ratepayers of the affected land.

A separate rate may only be made for a 5 year period before it is subject to a review process and further consultation with affected ratepayers.


What is the Emergency Services Levy?

The ESL funds Western Australia's fire and emergency services, including all career fire stations, volunteer fire brigades, State Emergency Service (SES) units and the multi-purpose volunteer emergency service units.

All local governments since 2003/2004 are required to collect the ESL for DFES.

For more information about the ESL, call DFES on 1300 657 209 or visit the DFES website.