About the Shire of Kerang Rates, Victoria, Australia, 1863-1962
General collection information
This collection contains land records dating between 1863 and 1962 from the Kerang and Swan Hill shires in Victoria, Australia. While most records are handwritten in ledgers, some may be typed. All records are in English. This collection was originally created and maintained by the Gannawarra Shire Council.
Using this collection
This collection may include the following information
Land rates are a very useful genealogical tool. Unlike other types of records, they’re recorded annually, which allows you to closely chase your family history. They also help find precisely where your family member was living. These records can also provide insight into your ancestor’s wealth, lifestyle, and perceived societal rank, based on the cultural climate when the record was taken.
Knowing your family’s address will greatly ease your search. Local directories from the year you’re researching are valuable tools. You may also wish to compare the research in this collection against historical maps.
Collection in context
The Land Tax Act 1877 introduced land taxes on a statewide level in Victoria and aimed to break up large land holdings. By appointing Commissioners of Land Tax, the state determined tax eligibility. To be eligible, landed estate owners had to own at least one property parcel that generated income. Properties were taxed by the capital they created, not by acreage. Taxes were one pound, five shillings for every hundred pounds of taxable capital.
Although the land was taxed yearly, payment was collected in biannual installments. It wouldn’t be until after the federation that the Victorian Land Tax Act would introduce taxation on land value. The Federal Land Tax 1910 imposed land taxes nationally, but this tax was abolished in 1952.
Australian Legal Information Institute. “The Land Tax Act 1877.” Last Modified July 1, 2020. http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/hist_act/tlta1877120/.
Public Record Office of Victoria. “Rate Records.” Last Modified December 12, 2022.” https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/researching-your-house/rate-records.
Research Data Australia. “Land Tax.” Accessed March 22, 2023. https://researchdata.edu.au/land-tax/490072.
State Library Victoria. “Researching Your Victorian Ancestors.” Last Modified March 12, 2023. https://guides.slv.vic.gov.au/victorianancestors/land.