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Fire and emergency services levy

Published: 8 March 2017
A new scheme that is likely to be introduced will create a fairer system for funding NSW fire and emergency services.

The land-based Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) will replace the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) and bring NSW into line with all other mainland states.

FESL is expected to reduce insurance costs on residential property by an average of $233, leaving fully-insured residential property owners better off by $47 per year on average.

Under the new scheme:

  • FESL would be calculated on unimproved land value determined by the Valuer General, with different rates for residential, public benefit, commercial, industrial and farm land.
  • The levy would be calculated by a base amount for each land category plus a variable amount based on land value.
  • Councils would collect the FESL on behalf of the NSW Government.
  • The old ESL paid on top of insurance premiums would be abolished.
  • Owners of residential and public benefit land will pay lower rates, and vacant land will have a discount applied.

Discounts will be available for pensioners and veterans, and a hardship policy for those who need it.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the reform would create a system that is fair for everyone.

“Only people with insurance pay the ESL, even though everyone benefits, and at the same time it makes insurance more expensive," Mr Perrottet said.

“This legislation ushers in an important reform – a fairer system where all property owners make a contribution, while also bringing down the cost of insurance.”

The legislation will be considered soon and if passed, it will take effect on 1 July 2017.

For more information, visit the Fire and Emergency Services Levy website

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