Dandenong households cop $40 rate hike

THE average Greater Dandenong household will pay an extra $41 on their rates bill in 2013-14, according to the council’s draft budget.

The budget, which is to be voted upon by councillors on Monday, includes a 5.9 per cent rate rise softened by a slight decrease in waste charges.

However the sting in the tail will be the state government’s fire service property levy, which must be collected by the council.

The levy will cost the median household — homes of $350,000 value — an extra $141.40 on their rates notice.

The levy was previously paid by home owners as part of their home-and-contents insurance.

Corporate services director Mick Jaensch said previously-insured households may be paying a reduced levy, but for uninsured homeowners ‘‘it’s new money’’.

Industrial ratepayers face a much steeper levy burden, paying 15 times the residential rate.

Mr Jaensch said the council ensured ratepayers were shielded from rate rises caused by a $10.569 million shortfall owed to the Local Sectors Defined Benefit Superannuation Scheme.

The council has proposedly slashed next year’s road maintenance budget by a ‘‘one-off’’ $1.43 million and borrowed $1.8 million to help fill the ‘black hole’.

At the centre of its capital projects is the Muncipal Building and Library Project in central Dandenong, attracting $16.217 million. Of this, the council has loaned $4.9 million sending its debt to a projected $68.6 million next year.