Rates charged on vacant land will become double the residential rate, while owners of commercial and industrial properties will also pay more, under sweeping changes to Maribyrnong’s rating system.
The changes, tabled at Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting, will be introduced from July when the council dumps the current net annual value (NAV) rating system of valuing land and calculating rates and moves to the more common capital improved value (CIV) system.
The council plans to increase overall rates by an average 2.5 per cent in 2019-20 in line with the cap imposed by the state government.
Differential rates will be introduced that make rates on commercial properties 20 per cent higher than on residential properties, industrial properties 50 per cent higher and vacant properties twice as high.
Charges formerly absorbed into overall rates bills that will become more transparent include a $20 municipal charge for each rateable property and a $170 waste management service charge for garbage and recyclable collections.
The council is poised to make the sweeping changes after an unprecedented 648 formal objections were lodged by ratepayers to their most recent property revaluations.
The proposed 2019-2020 annual budget, also tabled at Tuesday night’s meeting, shows the council expects to raise a total of $96.5 million through general rates and charges.
Of the overall $158 million budget, $61.2 million has been earmarked for capital and improvement works.
That includes $14.4 million for parks, open space and streetscapes, $15.7 million on improving council-owned roads, $4.2 million to build and improve footpath and cycle ways and $1.4 million towards building the Scovell Reserve Pavilion in Maidstone.
The draft budget notes that “while valuations are a matter for the Valuer General’s office” the council will introduce a rate rebate scheme for residential properties that effectively caps any rate rise in a single year to 30 per cent.