By CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS
PREPARE for a bill shock on your next rates notice. The average Greater Dandenong household is set to pay a possible $181.51 extra on their rates bill in 2013-14 — but most of it will be imposed by the state government.
The rise, which is to be voted upon by councillors on Monday, comprises a median $41.11 rise in council rates and charges and a median $141.40 fire services property levy to the state government. The state government fire levy is on average $120 less than the levy previously collected from home owners as part of their home-and-contents insurance.
Corporate services director Mick Jaensch said the council was being used as a collection agency by the state government. He said previously insured households may be paying a re-duced levy, but for uninsured home owners “it’s new money”.
Industrial ratepayers face a much steeper levy burden. On average, the 5400 industrial ratepayers each face a levy more than $2000. The median value — for a $500,000 industrial site — is more than $1000.
Mr Jaensch said the council ensured ratepayers were shielded from rate rises caused by a $10.569 million shortfall owed to the Local Sectors Defined Benefit Superannuation Scheme.
The council has proposed to slash next year’s road maintenance budget by a ‘one-off’ $1.43 million and has borrowed $1.8 million to help fill the super ‘black hole’.
At the centre of its capital projects is the municipal building and library project in central Dandenong, costing $16.217 million in 2013-14. Of this, the council will borrow a further $4.9 million sending its debt to a projected $68.6 million next year.
The project was on schedule for completion in March, Mr Jaensch said. The building would be paid off within 25 years.
He said the council was committed to retaining a customer service centre in Springvale, although it may not be at the council’s present Springvale Road hub.
■ The draft budget also allocates about $180,000 for a one-of municipal-wide blitz on graffiti. The blitz will cover large and small tags on public and private properties, including shopping centres and home fences and garages.
Chief executive John Bennie said the follow-up operations would cost “nowhere near $180,000” and not add to the rates burden.
■ Median council rates and charges (households) up $41.11 or 4.17 per cent. Comprises median residential rates up $42.81, waste charge down $4.30, state landfill levy up $2.60.
■ Fire services property levy is a new state charge on rates notices. Median levy for households is $141.40; the average levy on industrial sites is more than $1000.
■ Total rise is $181.51 for median household (homes of value $350,000); $215.26 (homes worth $500,000).
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