COUNCIL RATES SOAR UNDER BAILLIEU GOVT FIRE LEVY

Hard News

VICTORIANS to see a rise in council rates, as the Baillieu government abolishes the Fire Services ‘Insurance’ based levy.

Victorians to face a rise in council rates as the Baillieu government introduces a new ‘property’ base Fire Services levy, effective 1st July 2013.

CEO of Municipal Association of Victoria Rob Spence said, “councils are quite rightly upset”  and it is a “serious community concern,”

“The challenge in a policy sense in this is moving away from a risk base to a value base,” he said.

Traditionally the levy is collected through insurance premiums, which is evaluated with risk and experience.

The areas with low insurance claims will receive low rates and areas with high claims face higher premiums.

With the new model residents with low claims will see a rise in the rates and areas with high insurance claims will see decreased rates.

Senior economist of Department of Treasury and Finance Jacqueline BastianiIts said in an email, it is a “fairer and more transparent levy… and removes the GST and stamp duty costs on the existing insurance based fire services levy,”

“Currently property owners who fully insure their properties make a contribution to the levy, while others [with no house insurance] do not” she said.

The council rates will increase by $100 for residential properties and $200 for non-residential properties.

Plus the value of the property which will determine the final cost. 

While some residents in high value properties welcome the new model.

Marcia Griffin of Stonnington said, “i don’t want to see my rates go up,”

“All our essential services have increased so much in price… and an unnecessary increase of rates is just another burden on a household,”

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