Mayors from outer suburbs around the country gathered in Canberra last week to vent their frustration at the piecemeal approach to infrastructure in our great outer suburbs. Read more >
The Municipal Association of Victoria has said ratepayers have been “misled” by the terms of the Victorian Government’s 2.5 percent rate rise cap, as individual rates could still go up.
Victorian councils – excluding those granted a variation – will measure their total rate revenue in accordance with the cap. But, as this is a revaluation year in which property values are re-assessed, individual ratepayers could still see their rates increase.
Councillor Bill McArthur, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), accused the State Government of peddling a “populist policy”.
“Of immediate concern to councils is how the Government ‘sold’ its populist policy to the community and what they haven’t adequately explained to ratepayers,” said Cr McArthur.
“We believe the majority of people will feel misled by the Government when they receive their rates notice, even though most councils will be complying with the 2.5 per cent rate cap.
“The Government’s ‘fair go’ rates as they’ve called it has led many community members to believe their rates notice will not be more than 2.5 percent higher than it was last year.
“However, 2016 is a property revaluation year and all Victorian properties were revalued as at 1 January. Rates paid by individuals will depend on their new property valuation relative to other properties within their municipality.
“Some ratepayers will pay less than the 2.5 per cent cap and others will pay significantly more, but the overall rates collected by a council won’t exceed the rate cap, unless they were granted an exemption from the cap,” said Cr McArthur.
“It’s a common misunderstanding that as property values rise, councils collect more money overall, but they don’t. Higher property values only change how much each property owner pays towards the total council rate revenue, which must stay within the State’s rate cap.”
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