Emergency Management Levy - brewery levy
In June 2019, the Government amended the Schedule that defines categories of prescribed properties for the Emergency Management Levy, to create categories for breweries and distilleries under and over 15,000 sqm.
Previously, councils with smaller area properties used for brewery/distillery classified them as light industry or licenced restaurants or similar. The new categorisation resulted in significantly increased levy, and, naturally, protests from micro and boutique brewers.
The Government (QFES) have recognised this has created a problem and are proposing to make further changes to the Schedule such that smaller than 15,000 sqm brewer/distillery premises must be categorised as 'commercial premises' and levied in accordance with their gross floor area (and always subject to the highest use of the premises if there are mixed uses).
Typically, the Schedule has 'commercial premises' levy cost at a higher level than light industry/restaurant, so there is a likelihood that amended levies will still be higher than those previously made by councils.
QFES has identified 20 councils where it is known that a “Brewery” levy has been (or will be) made under the June 2019 amendment and has been in contact with their rate staff to confirm facts of each case, and forewarn councils that amendment levy will be required in the near future when the Schedule is further amended.
Importantly, for local government, the EML is a State levy that must appear on council rate notices, for which a small administration fee is paid to council, but, ultimately, final decision/appeal about the categorisation of a property rests with QFES.
In the current circumstances, any complaints about categorisation as a brewery/commercial premises should be referred to QFES.
Please contact Levy Management Unit regarding any further questions on (07) 3635 3041 or email QFESLevy@qfes.qld.gov.au.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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