How to use rate books

To minimise handling and in order to make these records accessible, the original Rate Book volumes for the Shires of East Loddon, Gordon and Korong, have been microfilmed (for preservation purposes) and digitised (for accessibility). The volumes have not been indexed and it may take some time to locate the information that you are after.

Although the original records have been transferred to the custody of the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), a complete digital set of the books is available for access at the historical societies within the Shire:

  • Boort Historical Society
  • East Loddon & District Historical Society
  • Inglewood District Historical Society
  • Korong Historical Society
  • Pyramid Hill & District Historical Society
  • Tarnagulla & District Historical Society

Their contact details are available in our Community directory.

Searching a Rate Book

  1. Determine in which municipality or local government area your land or building was originally located, ie East Loddon, Gordon or Korong. If you are uncertain as to the location of the land, it may be worthwhile searching the parish and township maps that are located on the Public Record Office Victoria website.    
  2. Search by either owner’s name or location of the property.

What you will find in a Rate Book

Rate Books typically list the owner’s full name, their occupation, the street address or location, a brief description of the dwelling, the rate to be paid (based on the property’s value), and sometimes the occupant’s name. The level of information provided varies from municipality to municipality. Estimates of the council's Receipts and Expenditure are often given.

How the Rate Books are generally arranged

These records were created annually, and are often arranged by streets or locations within Council Wards and Ridings or alphabetically by surname of owner/occupier. In mostly rural areas it is generally the location that is listed eg Mitiamo or Calivil rather than a specific address.

Where street names are listed, they are sometimes arranged alphabetically, but more often than not they are arranged according to an established route taken by the Council’s Valuer. In the latter case, it is common for the entries for each property to be allocated a consecutive rate (or assessment) number which reflects the particular route taken. The rate numbers usually change each year due to the addition or removal of rateable properties along the route.

Format of the Rate Books

The format of rate records has changed over the years. Initially the levying and payment of rates were recorded in volumes (known as Rate Books) until the introduction of cards (known as Rate Cards) from the 1930s. In the 1980's and 1990's automated systems have mostly been used and printouts of the automated system were usually produced as the rate record. Currently rate records are managed electronically in a database system.