Hobsons Bay homeowners can mostly expect rates relief due to the property market downturn.
The council last week released its draft annual budget for 2019-20, which proposes an average 2.47 per cent overall rate increase in line with the state government’s rate cap of 2.5 per cent.
It has reduced the overall rise by .03 per cent to compensate for an administrative error last year.
Due to rates being based on new 2019 valuations, increases or decreases will vary, but changes will not be as significant as last year.
“The average increase in residential rates will be 0.7 per cent (or $14) due to the decrease in residential valuations compared to slight increases (generally) in the non-residential sector,” the budget papers state.
“The most significant increases are in Laverton (5.05 per cent) and Seaholme (4.19 per cent).
“All other suburbs are expected to experience rate increases below the rate cap (2.5 per cent) and some will even experience decreases to their rates.”
Rates are forecast to increase in Altona (1.99 per cent), Altona Meadows (1.64 per cent), Seabrook (1.32 per cent), South Kingsville (0.39 per cent), Spotswood (1.85 per cent) and Williamstown (0.21 per cent).
Rates will drop in Altona North (-0.68 per cent), Brooklyn (-1.77 per cent), Newport (-0.67 per cent) and Williamstown North (-2.01 per cent).
Waste service charges, which are exempt from the rate cap, will increase by an average of 2.56 per cent.
The rate changes are in stark contrast to double-digit rate rises in 2018-19 based on property valuations from January last year. The council received 483 complaints about last year’s valuations.
Under last year’s budget, residential ratepayers were hit with an average increase of eight per cent and paid up to 20.6 per cent more in Seabrook, Altona Meadows and Laverton.
From this year, the Valuer-General will conduct revaluations annually instead of having local councils perform them every second year.
Cr Sandra Wilson said moving to annual, centralised revaluations might result in an “evening out” of rate rises.
The council is proposing a record $56.15 million in capital works next financial year.