The City of Boroondara has a history of strong financial management, and listening to its community on their budget priorities to inform the annual budget.

There are a number of factors that influence the rates for each property.

Every two years, properties across Victoria are revalued. All properties were revalued in January 2016, with the valuation coming into effect from 1 July 2016.

If your property value has increased by more than the average in the City of Boroondara, you will pay higher rates relative to other properties. If your value has increased by less than the average, your rates will be lower relative to other properties. The revised property value will be the basis of the amount of rates for that property for the next two financial years.

A revaluation of properties in a municipality does not mean a rise in the total amount of rates collected. Council does not collect more rate revenue because property values have risen. Individual rates are determined according to shifts in property values that have occurred in different parts of the municipality.

Fire Services Property Levy
The State Government Fire Services Levy is collected by local councils. This amount appears on your rates notice, but is passed directly to the State Government and is not used by Council.

Waste charges
The waste charge covers the full costs of waste management services. We have kept waste service charges down despite the cost paid to the State Government for the Landfill Levy, which continues to increase. This increased cost has been absorbed by Council, without passing it on to ratepayers.

Rate capping
While the Victorian Government’s legislation to cap rates came into effect on 1 July 2016, it’s important to understand that the cap applies to the total rate revenue for Council and not to rates for individual properties.

Late last year, Victorian councils were given the option to apply for an exemption from limiting rate rises to the Consumer Price Index (CPI  The City of Boroondara has not sought an exemption, which means the revenue we draw from rates will be capped at the CPI.

Through strong financial management, this Council has been able to ensure that Boroondara’s services will not be unduly impacted by the Victorian Government’s rate cap in the short to medium term.

In late June I presented to the Environment and Planning Standing Committee of the Legislative Council at Parliament House to contribute to the Inquiry into Local Government Rate Capping Policy. As part of its oversight of Local Government in Victoria, the committee was inquiring into the effect of the Victorian Government’s policy of rate capping on councils’ viability, service impacts on local communities and the impacts on local infrastructure.

While we agree that rates must be kept affordable, it is disappointing that the Victorian Government has imposed a cap on the annual increase in rate revenue that councils can generate.  While our prudent management means that we can accommodate rate capping without cutting services in the medium term, the policy will inevitably have impacts on services and infrastructure in the longer term.

Our focus continues to be on maintaining quality services, debt reduction and on continued investment in upgrading community facilities in Boroondara.

With best wishes,

Councillor Jim Parke
Mayor of Boroondara

Boroondara Mayoral Blog