Rates for Seniors & Pensioners

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