Series VPRS 5708
Rate Books
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series ? 1845 - 1998
  Series in Custody 1845 - 2012
  Contents 1845 - 1998
Public Access: Part Open
Location: Other
Format of Records: Physical/Digital
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1845 - 1998 Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1845 - cont Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    *Researchers please note: the rate books for 1861 to 1975 (except 1864 and 1865) have been digitised and are accessible via the P9 consignment (the last volume "1974", covers the 1974-75 financial year). Locate rate payments and payees of interest by selecting years and wards of interest. The remaining instructions refer to the hard-copy records and microfiche resources.*

    It will assist if researchers know the ward in which the property they are interested was located. Information in the rate books was arranged according to wards and within each ward by the ward/assessment number. Researchers can find the relevant ward in one of three ways.

    1. Background to the formation of wards in the nineteenth century and a map can be viewed on the Introductory fiche to the P2 consignment of the series. (Ward Maps for the City of Melbourne have yet to be transferred.)

    2. Index to Streets. Every rate book from 1866 to 1975 includes an index to streets at the beginning of each section containing rate information for a particular ward. The numbers next to the street name correspond to the ward number where entries for that street begins.

    3. VPRS 4029 Citizens Lists/Rolls. Researchers interested in a particular persons property may consult this series to ascertain the ward in which a particular person resided and/or owned property. A list or roll exists for each year.

    In mid 1975 the rate books were computerised and consist of a computer printout rather than the previous handwritten format. Numerical codes were used to denote the ward and street. These records were in the custody of the Council as at 1999.

    The earliest known records concerning rates exist as part of VPRS 9297 Cash Journal which includes information such as the name of the ward, ward number, the amount of town rate, how paid and by whom.

    Rate books for Hotham/North Melbourne and Flemington and Kesington up to 1905 may be seen on microfilm in the P7 consignment.

  • Function / Content
    Municipalities were required to make and levy a general rate on all rateable properties in the municipality annually. The level of the rate was set after an estimate of the councils expenditure for the coming year had been made and approved by Council. The amount of rate payable by each property owner was also dependent on the valuation of their property. At least until 1952 valuations within the City of Melbourne were undertaken on an annual basis.

    The City of Melbourne Rate Books recorded the levying and payment of the general rate. Each rate book is signed by the Mayor and sealed with the corporation seal.

    The information present in the rate books altered over time. In 1853 the details were fairly rudimentary and included:

    - Number in Ward
    - Name of Ratepayer
    - Situation of Tenement (i.e., address)
    - Description of Tenement
    - Assessed Annual Value
    - City Rate due March/August

    By 1887 the rate books contain more information:

    - Number in Ward
    - Name of the Owner/Ratepayer
    - Address of the Property being Rated
    - Description and Situation of the Property (may include number of rooms and measurements)
    - the Propertys Annual Value
    - Net Annual Value as Adopted by Council
    - Total Rate
    - Moeity (total rate split into two halves due in April and September)
    - Lighting Rate.

    By 1960 the information in the rate book had been refined further:

    - Number in Ward
    - Occupier of Property
    - Owner of Property
    - Situation (i.e address)
    - Description of Property
    - Measurements of the Property
    - Valuers Assessment
    - Net Annual Value as Adopted by the Council
    - Town Rate.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Originally rate books were bound according to each particular ward. In 1861 the rate books for each ward were first bound together to form one volume, although separate rate books were also maintained until 1864.

    Therefore duplicate copies for each ward are thought exist for 1861 to 1864, although these records are not in custody; for 1864 neither the consolidated rate book for all wards, nor the duplicates are in custody; none of the pre-1861 rate books bound into separate wards are in custody, except for 1845; the 1865 consolidated book is not in custody (PROV holds microform covering all of these gaps with the exception of 1846).

    Rate books for each ward continued to be bound together until the financial year 1974/75. In mid-1975 the rate books became computer generated. Instead of binding the individual ward rate books together to form one volume the Council decided to maintain separate rate books for each ward.

    Each section of the rate book pertains to a particular ward. Within each ward entries are arranged by the ward number. The ward number generally corresponds to the order in which the properties were valued. This number was a sequential number for each ward (ie the numbering sequence for each ward begins at 1).


    An index to streets based on the rate number begins in 1866 and is included within the volumes after that date.

    Related Series

    This series is closely related to VPRS 8915 Valuation Field Books. The information contained in the field books is used to generate this series. In many cases the information is the same although post 1952 field books contain information regarding sale of property that is not reflected in the rate book.

    The earliest known records concerning rates exist as part of VPRS 9297 Cash Journal which includes information such as the name of the ward, ward number, the amount of town rate, how paid and by whom.


    Microform records

    Various date ranges are covered by several microform consignments. Where an original rate record is not in custody or available digitally, these can be made available on request.

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    PROVguide064 City of Melbourne
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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1861 - 1975 Closed 149
P0001 1845 - 1845 Open 1
P0008 1991 - 1998 Open 16
P0009 1861 - 1975 Open N/A
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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    PROVguide064 City of Melbourne