Industrial rates outcry

Steve Bilston Photo: Joe Mastroianni 211344_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Some small business owners will bear the brunt of the rates burden with industrial rates in Hobsons Bay set to rise by nearly 9 per cent under the draft council budget.

Budget papers show the average capital improved value of industrial properties increased by 7.06 per cent but there were great fluctuations.

“About 12 per cent of properties have decreased in values greater than 10 per cent, whilst 9 per cent of properties have increased by greater than 30 per cent,“ they state.

Ratepayer Steve Bilston owns a factory in Williamstown where he tinkers around on vehicles.

“Everybody’s been hit, there’s quite a few vacant factories around,“ he said.

“I repair my own vehicles, which I do sell occasionally but mostly hang on to.

“I’ve had a reduced income since March and my factory rates are already double my residential rates.

“Now they want nine per cent more. It’s a hell of a lot.

“The businesses can’t sustain it.“

Under the budget, the council is also proposing to increase commercial rates by 3.89 per cent and petrochemical rates by 1.14 per cent.

The budget is based on an operational surplus of $25.3 million, which does not include a record $67.8 million in capital works.

Mr Bilston said the council could put some capital works on hold.

“We can put up with less capital works and help business get back on their feet,“ he said. “We’re being crucified.“