What are your rates spent on?

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Published: Friday, July 19, 2019

With a budget of $272.2 million, the City of Whittlesea is one of the largest and fastest growing local government areas in Victoria.

In order to fund important services such as rubbish collection and road maintenance and build new projects such playgrounds and recreation facilities, all councils levy rates. Rates Notices for 2019/20 will be sent to all City of Whittlesea property owners and tenants of commercial properties commencing mid-July.

Mayor Lawrie Cox said Council budgeted carefully each year to ensure best value for every dollar.

“It’s always a challenge meeting the needs of our growing community and we have limited financial capacity,” he said.

“We appreciate that people have taken the time to consider the budget, we had 30 submissions from the community which were considered.

“Our budget this year will see a significant investment in roads, traffic management around schools and sporting and leisure facilities.”

For every $100 of rates Council spends:

  • $32 on new facilities and infrastructure
  • $13 on neighbourhood parks and open space
  • $13 on waste, recycling and environment
  • $11 on family, children, youth and seniors
  • $8 on roads and footpaths
  • $9 on leisure, recreation and community facilities
  • $5 on supporting local business and communities
  • $3 on public health and safety
  • $3 on animal management and school crossings
  • $2 on libraries
  • $1 on arts and culture.

The State Government caps the total amount of money that can be raised through rates each year – this year it is 2.5%.

This means that while the total amount levied through rates is increased by 2.5%, it does not mean everyone will pay 2.5% more.

The State Government values each property every year and these figures, together with Council’s rate in the dollar, are used to calculate the 2019/20 municipal rates on individual properties.

“We establish what is the average value change. If your property has increased by the average, your rates will increase by 2.5%,” Cr Cox said.

“If your property value has increased by less than the average, your increase will be less than 2.5% more.

“If your property value has increased by more than the average, your increase will be more than the 2.5%.”

You can pay your rates quarterly or in a lump sum – or you can apply to pay in monthly or fortnightly instalments. If you do not pay your first quarterly amount by the due date, your account will revert to the lump sum.

Read more about rates.