Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions have been divided into categories to make it easier for you to find the answer you are looking for. Just click on a category to view a list of questions and answers.


About ESL

What is the Emergency Services Levy?

The Emergency Services Levy is a levy on all real estate and some vehicles for the funding of emergency services across South Australia. The levy came into effect on 1 July 1999.

What is the levy used for?

The money collected by the Emergency Services Levy is placed into a dedicated fund, for the exclusive use of the emergency services including:

  • Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS)
  • Country Fire Service (CFS)
  • State Emergency Service (SES)
  • Volunteer Marine Rescue SA

SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM)

and the rescue components of:

  • Surf Life Saving South Australia (SLSSA)
  • South Australian Police Rescue
  • The State Rescue Helicopter Service

What is the Community Emergency Services Fund?

The fund is a dedicated account into which the emergency services levies are paid. Money from the fund can only be spent on emergency services.

For further information on how the funds are distributed visit safecom.sa.gov.au.

What is the ESL legislation?

The ESL is collected in accordance with the following legislation:

Why do I have to pay a levy on a vacant block of land?

All land may require the services of the emergency services and as such, the Emergency Services Levy is payable on all land in South Australia. Rates used for calculation vary according to where the land is located and the purpose for which it is used.

Is there a levy on vehicles?

Yes. Motor vehicle owners pay a levy because around 25% of all emergency service call-outs involve road accidents or related activity.

The mobile component of the levy is payable at the same time as vehicle registration fees and forms part of the registration notice. Therefore, for existing mobile property, the levy is payable when you next renew your registration. Registration is offered over a 3 or 12 month period, with a proportionate levy amount payable for periods of less than 12 months.

For more information about the levy on mobile property, refer to the Department for Transport, Energy & Infrastructure on 13 10 84.

Back to top


Calculation of ESL

How is the ESL calculated?

The ESL is calculated using the capital value of the property together with a number of different components. Please refer to the Guide to Emergency Services Levy for further information.

Online Calculator

You can use our online calculator to determine your ESL.

Back to top


Capital Value and Land Use

Who determines the capital value used to calculate the Emergency Services Levy?

The capital value of land is determined by the State Valuation Office. The value is determined using industry recognised valuation processes that take into consideration the current improvements, sales and related market evidence and all other matters that may have an impact on the value of a property.

What if I disagree with the capital value of my property?

You may object to the valuation within 60 days after the date of service of the Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment.

Please Note:

(a)
if you have previously received a notice or notices under the Emergency Services Funding Act 1998 referring to the valuation and informing you of a 60 day objection period, the objection period is 60 days after service of the first such notice.
(b)
the 60 day objection period may be extended by the Valuer-General where it can be shown there is reasonable cause.
(c)
you may not object to the valuation if the Valuer-General has already considered an objection by you to that valuation.

Your objection must contain a full and detailed statement of the grounds on which the objection is based. Your objection can be delivered:

online:

standard objection forms are available from the Land Services Group website

by email:

lsgobjections@sa.gov.au

by mail:

State Valuation Office
GPO Box 1354
Adelaide SA 5001

in person:

State Valuation Office
101 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Telephone enquiries in relation to Valuations can be made by calling 1300 653 345.

If you lodge an objection, you are still required to pay your Emergency Services Levy by the due date. If your objection is upheld which results in a reduction in levy, then a refund will be issued.

Who determines the land use category used to calculate the Emergency Services Levy?

The land use category is based on the land use code attributed to the property by the State Valuation Office. The land use categories are as follows:

  • Residential (RE)
  • Commercial (CO)
  • Industrial (IN)
  • Rural (RU)
  • Vacant (VA)
  • Special Community Use (CU)
  • Other (OT)

What if I disagree with the land use category of my property?

An objection to the land use attributed to a property must be made within 60 days from receipt of the Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment.

Your objection must state the grounds on which the objection is based and the land use that you believe should be attributed to the land. Your objection can be delivered:

by email:

revsaesl@sa.gov.au

by mail:

Commissioner of State Taxation
GPO Box 1647
Adelaide SA 5001

in person:

Commissioner of State Taxation
Ground Floor
State Administration Centre
200 Victoria Square
Adelaide SA 5000

Telephone enquiries in relation to land use categories can be made by calling 1300 366 150.

If you lodge an objection, you are still required to pay your Emergency Services Levy by the due date. If your objection is upheld which results in a reduction in levy, then a refund may be issued.

What land is included in the Special Community Use (CU) category?

The following land usage attributed to the property by the State Valuation Office is included in the Special Community (CU) category:

  • Institutional residential
  • Orphan's accommodation
  • Religious quarters – monasteries
  • Retired and Aged accommodation
  • Old folk's homes
  • Institutional residential accommodation NEC
  • Social welfare
  • Social services and welfare provision
  • YMCA and YWCA facilities
  • Charitable organisations
  • Missions for aborigines
  • Social welfare NEC
  • Places of assembly
  • Churches, Seminaries
  • Public halls
  • Girl Guides and Boy Scouts
  • Youth centres,
  • Medical and health
  • Hospital
  • Private hospital
  • Community hospital
  • Mental hospital
  • Sanatoria
  • Nursing homes
  • Convalescent and rest homes and health centres
  • MBHA clinics
  • Cemeteries
  • Public conveniences
  • Public utilities NEC

Back to top


Change of address

If you wish to change the address details on your Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment, please complete the online change of address form.

When changing your address you can also opt for all ESL correspondence to be sent via email.

Back to top


Concessions, Remissions and Reductions

Am I eligible for a concession?

Refer to the Concessions and Remissions page.

How do I apply for a concession?

Refer to the Concessions and Remissions page.

What is the General Remission?

The General Remission is essentially the amount of the Emergency Services Levy which the State Government contributes on behalf of certain levy payers.

The total levy payable is calculated by a formula designed to generate the required funds to finance emergency services.

I have only received the general remission/concession on one property but not another?

The general remission and concession are only available on a levy payer's principal place of residence. Any additional properties owned by the levy payer do not qualify for the general remission or concession.

What other remissions are available?

Refer to the Concessions and Remissions page.

Can I get a reduction for adjoining land?

Refer to the Contiguous Land page.

Can I get a reduction for primary production land?

Refer to the Single Faming Enterprise page.

Back to top


Notices Information

Can I receive my Notice via email?

Yes, use our online email notification form to request all ESL correspondence to be sent via email.

Can I have separate notice for each property?

Properties held under the same ownership (i.e. owned by the same person(s) or parties) can only be issued on one Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment.

Can I change the name on my notice?

The name that appears on notices is an abbreviation of the name(s) registered on the title and is restricted to a certain number of characters (approx 40 characters).

If you need to change the name(s) registered on the title, applications should be made to the Lands Titles Office. The Lands Titles Office will advise RevenueSA of any changes of names.

You may request a change of mailing name for future Emergency Services Levy notices without affecting the name registered on the title, however, the name can only be changed to one of, or a combination of the registered proprietors on the title.

Can you send the Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment to someone other than the owner?

Notices of ESL Assessment can only be issued in the name of the owner.

However, if you would like the Notice to be sent care of another person or company e.g. a managing agent, the owner needs to provide written authority to RevenueSA via email or letter:

by email:

revsaesl@sa.gov.au

by mail:

Commissioner of State Taxation
GPO Box 1647
Adelaide SA 5001

Please note: As billing for ESL is conducted via ownership (meaning that all properties held under the same ownership are billed on the one notice), any request to have a notice issued care of a managing agent will include all properties contained in the respective ownership.

What does ANR and ORS mean?

ANR means 'Another'. If a property is bought by two entities, both names are registered on the certificate of title, however our ownership record will show the first named on the certificate of title, with the other name abbreviated to ANR.

Example:

Property bought by Joe Boggelsworth & Mary Smith would have both names registered on the certificate of title, but as Joe's name was registered first, the ownership record will display as 'J Boggelsworth & ANR'.

ORS means ‘Others’. If a property is bought by more than two entities, all names are registered on the certificate of title, however the ownership record will show the first named on the certificate of title, with all other names abbreviated to ORS.

Example:

Property bought by Bloggs Pty Ltd, Mary Smith Inc and Jim Brown would have all names registered on the certificate of title but as Bloggs Pty Ltd was registered first, the ownership record will display as 'Bloggs Pty Ltd & ORS'.

Back to top


Payments

Where and how can I pay my levy?

Payment of your Notice of Emergency Services Levy Assessment can be made in full as per the total amount due on your notice or, upon request, by monthly instalments.

Payment information is detailed on the reverse of your ESL Notice or on the Payments page.

Instalments

You can apply online to request four consecutive monthly instalments. You must apply before the due date on the original Notice of ESL.

If you are unable to apply online, please contact RevenueSA prior to the due date on the original Notice of ESL Assessment:

by email:

eslinstalments@sa.gov.au

by mail:

Commissioner of State Taxation
GPO Box 1647
Adelaide SA 5001

or call:

the RevenueSA Helpline on: 1300 366 150

If you wish to arrange a longer plan of up to 12 monthly instalments, please contact RevenueSA prior to the due date on the original Notice of ESL Assessments.
If the instalment option is chosen, failure to meet any instalment payment will result in the unpaid remainder of the full annual amount becoming immediately due and payable.

Penalty levy and interest may also be applied.

Should an alternative payment plan be required please email the request, including the ownership number and details of the suggested payment plan (how much and how often) to revenuesadms@sa.gov.au, or write to: GPO Box 2149 Adelaide SA 5001.

How often will I pay the levy?

The levy is collected annually (per financial year), via separate bills for the real estate portion of the levy and included with vehicle and commercial boat registration.

I am going away, how do I pay when I haven't received my current year's notice?

You can contact RevenueSA and we can advise you of the amount now and you can forward a payment directly to RevenueSA. It should be noted however that If the levy is paid in full prior to the issuing of a notice, then a Notice of Emergency Services Levy will not be issued.

Alternatively, you can request a change of address so that when your notice is issued it is sent care of another party.

What happens if I do not pay my Emergency Services Levy notice?

If payment is not received by the due date on the original notice, a final notice will be issued to the owner. If the debt still remains outstanding after the due date on the final notice, the matter will then be referred to a debt recovery area to pursue payment and/or commence legal action. Penalty levy, interest & fees may be applied to unpaid amounts. Ultimately a property may be sold for non-payment of a levy, much the same as unpaid council rates.

Back to top


Property Sold

I sold this property AFTER 1st July. Who is liable for the levy?

The Emergency Services Levy on fixed property is levied each financial year. It is determined based on ownership and usage of land as at 12:01 am, 1 July. The owner at that time is liable for payment of the Emergency Services Levy for that financial year.

If the property is sold after 1 July, any adjustment of the Emergency Services Levy is a matter for resolution between the parties (normally adjusted by conveyancers at settlement).

Any specific questions regarding the apportionment of the Emergency Services Levy or payment of the levy at settlement should be directed to your land conveyancer.

Back to top