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Rates fund community services, infrastructure and relief

Rates fund community services, infrastructure and relief

Monday, July 20, 2020

City of Whittlesea property owners, and tenants of commercial properties, will receive their annual rates notices over the coming weeks.

Rates are a primary source of income for Council, allowing investment into essential services like waste collection, delivered meals for older residents and other community services.

Rates also contribute significantly to new and upgraded infrastructure including community facilities, better roads and amenities for the whole community to enjoy. This includes our $84 million capital works plan set out in the Annual Budget for 2020-21.

In this current pandemic crisis, this year’s rates will also allow Council to continue providing relief to local businesses, community groups and not-for-profit agencies that provide front-line services to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Council has committed $2 million to go directly towards funding COVID-19 recovery initiatives this financial year.

Costs have also been absorbed in this year’s Budget such as the planned increase to waste charges due to the State Government’s Landfill Levy rise.

The Victorian Government sets a cap on how much Councils can increase their total rates revenue by – this year it’s 2 per cent. The 2 per cent cap applies to Council’s total rates revenue not individual rates notices.

State Government values each property every year and these figures, together with Council’s rate in the dollar, are used to calculate the 2020-21 municipal rates on individual properties. Rates may increase by more than 2 per cent if a property valuation has increased by more than the average.

Chair, Panel of Administrators, Ms Lydia Wilson said those struggling to pay their rates within the timeframe set out can apply for an interest free payment plan until 30 June 2021. In extreme cases of hardship, applications will be considered for interest free payment deferrals until 30 June 2021.

“We understand that COVID-19 has caused significant emotional and financial stress across our community,” Ms Wilson said.

“Council’s COVID-19 Hardship Policy provides residents, businesses, groups and clubs with financial relief from rates, fees and charges.

“While we won't have a comprehensive understanding of the full financial impact of the pandemic for many months yet, Council’s strong financial management and good governance practices will enable us to respond proportionately and effectively to this rapidly changing situation.”


How $100 of rates is spent (2020-21 rates in dollar)

Capital Works - $29.00

Waste, Recycling and Environment - $15.00

Neighbourhoods, Parks and Open Space - $14.00

Roads and Footpaths - $10.00

Leisure, Recreation and Community facilities - $9.00

Supporting Local Business and Communities - $7.00

Family, Children, Youth and Seniors - $7.00

Libraries - $3.00

Public Health and Safety - $3.00

Arts and Culture - $2.00

Animal Management and School Crossings - $1.00

*These figures include an allocation for corporate services, governance and administration.


Rates can be paid quarterly, fortnightly, monthly or in a lump sum online, over the phone, in person, at Australia Post or by BPAY. Details of payment options are on Rates Notice or on our website.

The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy has now been replaced by the Financial Hardship Policy which is available on our Paying your rates webpage.