Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay ratepayers are in the top 10 for paying the highest average residential rates and charges in metropolitan Melbourne.
Maribyrnong came in at No. 4 and Hobsons Bay at No. 7 out of 22 metropolitan councils, according to Victorian councils’ budget documents for 2020-21.
Boroondara was at No. 1 ($2520.50), followed by Bayside ($2210.42), Moreland ($2160.05), Maribyrnong ($2068.22), Kingston ($2040.12), Manningham ($2027.90), Hobsons Bay ($1966.67), Frankston ($1919.44), Banyule ($1809.98) and Maroondah ($1791.88).
Hobsons Bay’s base waste service charge for four bins (120 litre green waste, 120 litre rubbish, 240 litre mixed recycling and 120 litre glass) is $227 for a typical house or $193 for multi-unit dwellings.
Maribyrnong’s standard waste service charge is $179.75 for a 120 litre rubbish bin and a 120 litre or 240 litre mixed recycling bin. The green waste bin is an opt-in service, costing $164 for a 120 litre bin and $200 for a 240 litre bin in the first year and $111 for a 120 litre bin and $124 for a 240 litre bin thereafter.
Residents in both municipalities receive one free hard waste collection per year.
Maribyrnong council’s chief executive Stephen Wall said it was often difficult to compare councils because the services they provided may be subtly different.
“In regards to average residential rates and charges, including waste, Maribyrnong is fourth out of 22 metro councils and we are sixth out of 31 in metro and interface councils,” he said.
“The average residential rates and charges, including waste, in Maribyrnong is $2068.22.
“This is approximately $100 more per year than the average residential rates and charges, including waste, in neighbouring Hobsons Bay.”
Hobsons Bay’s corporate services acting director Hamish Munro said “each council delivers services and programs that best represent the needs of their specific community and valuations are based on average property values”.
“Municipalities that have a high percentage of apartments and rental properties would have a lower average for residential rates and charges,” he said.
“Hobsons Bay is unique in that it includes industrial areas and a diverse range of properties with a wide range in property values.”
Maribyrnong Residents and Ratepayers Group’s Arthur Bregiannis, who questioned Maribyrnong council about rates at its last ordinary meeting, said Maribyrnong ratepayers were paying more than any neighbouring council.
“Council rates – essentially a property tax –do not take into consideration a ratepayer’s ability to pay it by adjusting for affected income on the rates owed,” he said.
“Income tax at least adjusts for your income earned.
“I have been unemployed from my job of nearly 20 years since September, 2019, with the COVID lockdowns extending this.
“When I was working, for me to earn my rates amount of $3000 I would have to work at least three weeks just for that.”
He has made a financial hardship application but said this just deferred the payment as the council did not grant waivers.
Coming in at No. 11 was Yarra ($1770.73), followed by Moonee Valley ($1766.11), Moonee Valley ($1766.11), Stonnington ($1713.61), Glen Eira ($1693.65), Port Phillip ($1625.05), Brimbank ($1618.66), Darebin ($1612.24), Whitehorse ($1559.49), Monash ($1471.08), Knox (1451.78), Greater Dandenong ($1359.01) and City of Melbourne ($1260).