Rates Review

The below graphic shows what rates inequity looks like within the Shire.

The numbers show what the property would currently pay in rates.

Review of valuation method

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale is reviewing the method of valuation, which is applied to properties within the district in order to make a submission to the Minister, to ensure the Shire is levying rates equitably.

Properties that do not have the correct valuation method applied to reflect their predominate use may be paying too little or too much in rates. This can result in inequity and an unfair distribution of the rating burden.

The rates you pay are a proportionate share of what is needed to fund the services and facilities that the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale provides to everyone in our community. Rates are calculated based on a “Rate in the Dollar” set by the Council multiplied by the valuation of the property as determined by the Valuer General.

The valuation of your property is independently set by the Valuer General and is either calculated based on the Gross Rental Value or the Unimproved Value.


Rate set by Council   x

Valuation set by the Valuer General

= Rates paid by landholder

Whether the Gross Rental Value or Unimproved Value should be used for a given property is dependent on the predominate use of the land of that property. This decision is made by the Minister for Local Government.

While only the Minister for Local Government can change the method of valuation used to calculate rates for a given property, the Shire is able to make recommendations to the Minister.

Please complete the attached declaration which will be used to inform Officer recommendations to Council for their consideration. Council’s decision will be submitted to the Minister for their determination.

In making the declaration, it is important to consider what the predominate use of your land is. Under legislation, where the land is used predominately for rural purposes, the unimproved value of the land should be used. In circumstances, where the land is used predominantly for non-rural purposes, the gross rental value should be used.

Completing this declaration accurately will assist in making recommendations to Council and the Minister. In completing the declaration, you may wish to provide supporting evidence such as a copy of your latest tax return showing that you have claimed primary production earnings for your property.

This is an important consideration on your declaration as the valuation method used to calculate rates is representative of a land owners ability to pay rates, it is unlikely that land used as a hobby farm or the keeping of a small number of horses or other agricultural animals would satisfy the definition as land used predominately for rural purposes.

How to make a submission

Submissions must relate to a specific property. Content from your declaration and supporting evidence may be published. Confidential or anonymous submissions will not be accepted. You are able to make your submission in a number of ways below:

Download the form

Complete the online form here 

Collect a hard copy form from the Shire's Administration Centre

The completed hard copy of the declaration form can be submitted:

  • Delivered in person to:

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

6 Paterson Street


Submissions close on Friday 23 October 2020.

Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact the Shire’s Rates Department at info@sjshire.wa.gov.au

Through your help, everyone in the Shire can benefit from a fairer and equitable approach to rating.


Frequently Asked Questions about the process for the valuation of land

What is the difference between UV and GRV?

Unimproved Values (UV): Where the land is predominately used for rural purposes and a livelihood is derived from the land, the land is assessed on value of the site without improvements. UV properties are revalued every year.

Gross Rental Values (GRV): Where the land is used predominately for non-rural purposes, values are determined based on the gross annual rental value of the property. GRV properties are revalued every three years in the metropolitan area and every three to five years in other areas of Western Australia.

Who determines the basis for the rating of a property?

The Minister for Local Government determines whether GRV or UV is appropriate.

Who determines the value of a property?

Valuations are carried out by the Valuer General’s Office of Landgate.

How do valuation methods determine rates?

The Valuer General’s Office provide us with values for all properties within the Shire, either the GRV or UV depending on predominant land usage. This value is then multiplied by either the GRV or UV rate in the dollar determined by council to calculate rates for each individual property.

If my property valuation method changes from UV to GRV will my rates increase?

They could increase or decrease. This will depend on the valuation provided by the Valuer General’s Office and the rate in the dollar.

What happens if I do not return this declaration?

If the declaration is not returned officers will make an assessment based on the data already obtained for your property such as zoning, building and planning approvals and aerial photography.

My services are still the same, so why is the method changing?

Changing the method of valuation from UV to GRV is not related to the services provided. It is solely determined on the Predominant use of the land.

Will a change in valuation method affect my current use of the property?

If the method of valuation for your property changes from UV to GRV it does not affect or change the current land use approvals applicable to your property.

What if I think my property use will change in the future?

An application for change of valuation methodology can be made to the Shire at any time.

I have the Shire's letter but my neighbour didn’t and we are both similar properties - why didn’t they receive a letter ? 

All residents were sent a letter. If you did not receive a letter you can still make a submission by using the forms above.

If my land is zoned rural why would I be rated as GRV? 

The valuation methodology is based on the predominant use of the property not the zoning, however zoning may be a consideration when determining predominant use.

What does predominate mean ? Is it more than 50%?

The word ‘predominantly’ is not defined, however, the Land Valuation Tribunal of WA has considered its meaning in a related context and provided the following principles:

  • the predominant use of land is one of fact and degree;
  • where a part of the premises is used for a purpose which is subordinate to the purpose which inspires the use of another part, it is legitimate to disregard the former and treat the dominant purpose as that for which the whole is being used, and
  • the predominant purpose for which land is used is determined by more than simply the area of land that is occupied for a particular use.