What rebate can I receive if I am pensioner or senior card holder?

If you are a Pension card holder with or without a dependent spouse and have been living at the property you want to claim the rebate on, since the 1st July of that financial year. You are then entitled to a 50% rebate for pensioners and a 25% rebate for seniors on the rates and ESL (emergency services levy) portion of your account. In 2016/17, both the pension rebate and the senior rebate will be a capped amount as determined by the State Government (see section below on the explanation of the capped amounts for pensioners). Rebates apply to current rates and emergency services levy only, and not to rubbish collection and other charges, which must be paid in full by the due date shown on this notice.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for concessions under the Rates and Charges (Rebates and Deferments) Act 1992, an applicant must:

  • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card (50% rebate); or
  • State Concession Card (50% rebate); or
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and a WA Seniors Card (50% rebate); or
  • WA Seniors Card (25% rebate).

AND

  • On 1 July of the current financial year, own and occupy the property as your ‘ordinary place of residence’.

To own means you must:

  • Be the owner or co-owner of the property registered on the Certificate of Title (where the property is subject to co-ownership a partial concession may apply); or
  • Have a “right to reside” at the property under the terms of a Will and be responsible to pay the rates and charges; or
  • Hold a long-term lease in a retirement village, park home park, lifestyle village or caravan park.

How do I claim a concession?

If you satisfy the eligibility criteria above, you can register for a pension concession by contacting the Water Corporation to register over the phone on 1300 659 951.

What happens if I become a pensioner or senior during the financial year?

Registrations for a rebate for the full financial year must be made within 35 days of receiving your rates notice. However, if you become an eligible pensioner or senior during the financial year you can obtain a pro-rata rebate from the date you register.

Payment requirements?

Pensioners/Seniors are offered the same payment options as all ratepayers. The Shire of Waroona offers payment by:

Option 1                Full payment

Option 2                Two instalments

Option 3                Four instalments

All instalment due dates are detailed on your rates notice. Please note registered pensioners and seniors are not charged and instalment charges or interest for choosing to pay by instalments. Pensioners and seniors must have paid the amount detailed on their rates notice by 30 June of that rating year to be eligible for the rebate.

What should I do if my circumstances change?

You must immediately advise the Water Corporation if your circumstances change at any time.

For example, notification is required if:

  • You are issued with a new card or your card is cancelled or expires;
  • Your original application details will or have changed;
  • You sell or transfer an interest in all, or part, of your property or move to another address;
  • You or your spouse ceases occupation of the property;
  • As a WA Seniors Card holder you become an eligible pensioner or the holder of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.

Selling your property

I am about to sell my property and there are still rates to be paid – how is this worked out? This is done by your settlement agent at settlement, who will apportion the rates accordingly between the buyer and seller.

Cap on Local Government Rates for Pensioners from 2016/17

The State Government has approved a $750 cap for local government rates applying to pensioner households as of 1 July 2016.

Local Governments are required by legislation to implement this policy change on behalf of the Government when they issue rates notices to affected pensioners.

This means your local government rates notice now includes a concession that is the lesser of $750 or 50 per cent of the rates payable.

The 2015-16 Budget originally announced that the 50% concession available to pensioners on their local government rates was to be capped to $550 with effect from 1 July 2016. After listening to community concerns and stakeholders groups, including the Western Australian Self-Funded Retirees Association Inc, the Government increased the cap for local government rates to $750.

Note: Seniors cardholder rates concessions remain unchanged at 25 per cent up to a capped amount, as has been the case for many years.

Why is this happening?

The population of senior citizens in Western Australia is expected to increase from its current 458,000 to 865,000 in the next two decades. Supporting an ageing population is a significant policy challenge faced by all levels of government.

To ensure social concessions are better targeted and concessions provided by the State are sustainable over the longer term, the Government has made the difficult decision to cap the amount of the concession allowed for pensioners on their local government rates and water service charges.

Difficult and necessary decisions such as these changes ensure that the State’s finances remain sustainable, while at the same time continuing to deliver high quality services and infrastructure to the Western Australian community.

Government of Western Australia Department of Finance June 2016