Rates bills burn wallets

THE latest council rates bills have sparked cries of exasperation in households and businesses, leaving ratepayers frustrated by rising rates and claiming they see nothing extra for their money.
South Gippsland Shire ratepayers reported rates increase of up to $1000 in 12 months.
Changes in property valuations are responsible for most of the rates changes, said Faith Page, South Gippsland Shire Council’s director of corporate and community services.
The latest rates notices to hit letterboxes are the first to use the 2018 property valuations on which rates are based. Valuations will now be undertaken annually instead of every two years, meaning ratepayers can expect even higher bills.
South Gippsland council increased rates by two percent this financial year, less than the rates cap imposed by the State Government of 2.25 percent. Bass Coast rates lifted by 2.25 percent.
Korumburra ratepayer Cheryl Denman is on a disability pension and said her rates bill had increased by $100 this financial year to $2238.55, for her four acre property and house. In 2008, her rates for the same property were $1400.
“How do I find the money to pay these exorbitant rate rises?” she said.
Ms Page said council offers a hardship policy and encourages ratepayers facing financial difficulty to contact it. Council also offers payment options to assist ratepayers.
Ms Page said in South Gippsland, the fewer properties results in a higher proportion of rates being distributed amongst ratepayers, adding “the only way to lower rates would be to reduce services and/or spend less on capital works.”
Bass Coast Shire Council CEO Paul Buckley said council’s capped average rate is the third lowest across the group of 19 large rural councils in Victoria.
“Some ratepayers will pay more and some will pay less, depending on the value of their property relative to the other properties in their municipality,” he said.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25772

Posted by on Sep 11 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Rates bills burn wallets”

  1. I read Ms Page’s offering and nearly choked laughing.

    We have a property on the second estate in Venus Bay and over the past 30 years, our rates have been steadily increasing but the “services” have remained at zero.

    I have questioned the Shire’s rates in the past but other than the usual spiel (which continues here), I have never received a satisfactory response.

    Let me offer a comparison:-

    For the year 2018-2019, our Gippsland rates for a very modest house are $1,799.20 per annum.

    According to the instalment notice, the overall amount is based on the following:

    – site value $127,000.00
    – capital improved value $291,000.00
    – net annual value $14,550.00

    For the annual (8 months) amount we do not get any services whatsoever. We are on a septic tank system and have a water tank. We also have a six monthly garbage and recycling collection which is an added charge, as are any hard-rubbish collections and trips to the local tip.

    The charging of booked hard-rubbish, along with the exorbitant [over]charging by the tip has resulted in hard-rubbish being dumped along streets with “free” signs on whatever is left strewn around. Ratepayers should receive reduced tip fees as this is blatant double dipping.

    However, for the same period, the rates for our property in Melbourne are $1,740.00.

    According to that instalment notice, the amount is based on the following:-

    – site value $726,000.00
    – capital improved value $772,000.00
    – net annual value $38,600.00

    For less than the Gippsland Shire charges (not to mention the significant difference in values), we benefit from:-

    – weekly garbage collection
    – fortnightly recycle/garden collection
    – 3 annual hard-rubbish collections (free)
    – regular street sweeping (and cleaning up when trees shed).
    – regular maintenance of our local footpaths, naturestrips and/or roads (including replacing pathways where/when necessary).

    As is evidenced by the two notices, the former provides absolutely nothing for our money while the latter provides the many services which comprise the overall annual amount that are the responsibility of Councils.

    Judging by the pristine condition of neighbouring areas in South Gippsland, it would seem that Venus Bay residents are paying for the continual beautification of Sandy Point, Waratah Bay and Walkerville, just to name a few.

    I believe that neither the NAV nor CIV are fair systems as not every variable is accounted for. A property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it and judging by the number of properties that have had “sale” signs for years, I feel that Council has overestimated property values for its own benefit.

    I further believe that Councils have become too dependent on their massive annual windfalls that I feel could be better spent, ie; actually focussing on the prime function of councils; spending people’s hard-earned in a fair and honest manner.

    As a ratepayer, I do not expect that my monies be spent on overseas jaunts, lavish council “dos” and other “rewards”.

    I respectfully request that [new] councillors consider setting rates to equitable amounts, including reasonable tip charges, instead of offering people who have worked hard (and continue to do so) “hardship policies”.

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