Melbourne council rates set to rise

Melbourne council rates set to rise
Melbourne council rates set to rise

All but two of Melbourne’s 31 metropolitan councils are increasing rates next financial year by an average of 2.25 per cent, according to the Herald Sun.

Monash wants to bust the cap, pushing for a 3.53 per cent rise in rates unless it can introduce a new waste charge to deal with the recycling crisis.

China's ban on some recycling imports, including those from Australia, is behind the desire.

Victoria previously exported the majority of its recycling to China, where it was processed and used to fuel factories.

Major recycling companies including Visy, SKM and Polytrade would pay councils about $60 to $70 a tonne for the contents of residents' yellow bins and sell it to China at a higher price.

Now unable to do that, it is understood recycling companies plan to charge councils about $60 a tonne to take the material.

The Glen Waverley-based Monash council is one of a few that doesn’t currently have a separate rubbish levy.

The usual annual rate rise is mandated to be a maximum of 2.25 per cent, but waste charges are excluded from that cap.

Nillumbik will increase rates by an average of only 1.95 per cent. Mayor Peter Clarke, who froze rates last year, has been a long-time critic of council budgeting practices.

Several councils are also increasing their waste levies in the wake of the China recycling crisis. Bayside is proposing a 40 per cent, or $92.75 rise, to $324.55.

The paper suggests thousands of Victorian households will be hit with bigger-than-expected rate rises when notices go out next month.

Despite the state government cap of an average 2.25 per cent, high property revaluations will push up rates for many families above that limit, with estimated annual increases of up to $100 likely.

In the City of Melbourne, 57 per cent of ratepayers will pay more than the cap, with households in East Melbourne and Kensington hit hardest because of rising property values.

CBD and Docklands residents can expect their bills to be level with the cap or below, Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said.

Ratepayers Victoria wants independent financial monitors to check on councils’ finances and the rates they charge.

Spokesman Frank Sullivan told The Herald Sun rate increases should not be automatic and the monitors would see if ratepayers’ money was used wisely.

In Stonnington, chief exec­utive Warren Roberts confirmed that almost one in three homes would receive a general rate rise above 2.25 per cent.

“The average residential rate increase is approximately $31 for the year, or 60 cents per week,’’ he said.

In Port Phillip, mayor Bernadene Voss said 28 per cent of ratepayers would receive an above-cap bill.

In Hume, in Melbourne’s outer north, about two-thirds would pay more.

In the outer-eastern Yarra Ranges, 58 per cent will pay above the cap, while in Hobsons Bay the figure is 68 per cent.

Melbourne Valuations

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