Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Effects of Emergency Services Levy Added To You Blacktown City Council Rates - How Do You Feel?

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Blacktown City Council is now looking at the effects of removing the Emergency the Emergency Services Levy off Insurance policies and transferred it to the responsibility of charging on Local Council Rates.

Is this a fare process? Does this seem right to offload it from insurance companies that collected this levy, prior to Local Government's to collect it from rates. Blacktown City Council is seeking information especially if it is unfair.

 I have 2 views on this and the first one is:
  1. If any State/Territory charges any Levy, levies have to be paid. I have no question on this. Why Levies are charged, would have been debated and passed through NSW Acts and Regulations, prior to today
  2. If a State Levey is offloaded to Local Council, I find it difficult to understand that the Emergency Services Levey (which funded by the NSW Government), should be paid this way, Councils burdened to charge the levy, explain the levy and then collect the levy.
In the long run it seems that the NSW Government may be offloading from insurance policy holders to house and business rate payers are they seeking to reap more funds, through Local Councils, when Locals Councils, do not benefit from it directly.

Here is what Blacktown City Council is asking its community members:

"Tell us how the Emergency Services levy affects you?

Blacktown City Council is looking for case studies of people who have been adversely affected by the State Government’s decision to make local councils collect the Emergency Services Levy.

It is estimated that some Sydney homeowners are facing annual NSW fire and emergency service levies that are three or more times higher than their current insurance payments, and Blacktown City Council is looking for real examples to use in its media campaign of disapproval and disgust. 

Contact Council if you currently pay an emergency services levy through insurance and are prepared to provide details of the amount. This will then be compared with the estimated new levy, that will be collected through the rates system.

If you are also prepared to be quoted as a local resident in a Mayoral media release, that would be a huge bonus.

The new annual levy formula for homeowners is to be calculated by adding a $100 fixed rate and a variable rate of $21.90 for every $100,000 of unimproved land value as set by the NSW Valuer-General’s office.

Under a NSW government’s case study for ratepayers, a ratepayer owning residential land valued at $600,000, who paid a $92 levy this year, faces a new levy of about $220.

Others homeowners face an even bigger levy as unimproved land values soar well above $1m in Sydney’s east, north, inner west and south.

Property owners can work out their precise levy using a calculator on the fire services and emergency services levy website at fesl.nsw.gov.au."

If you would like to help Council make its case that the levy is unfair, email their media co-ordinator Alan Gale at mediaunit@blacktown.nsw.gov.au

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