The City of Greater Bendigo has begun sending out 61,000 rates notices to property owners either by post or via email this week.
Director Corporate Performance Jessica Howard said the revenue from rates help to fund 69 important services to the community and maintain and upgrade infrastructure such as community facilities, footpaths, and roads.
“Rates and charges make up around 60 per cent of the City’s Budget income so we can deliver the Council Plan (Mir wimbul), provide accessible services to the community, and carry out capital works commitments in the 2023/2024 Budget,” Ms Howard said.
“This Budget will invest $68M to renew, develop and maintain various public spaces and critical infrastructure, and the $168M operating Budget enables us to deliver important daily services in the community from waste services, street cleaning, maintenance of parks and recreation facilities, to maternal and child health, tourism, libraries and much more.”
A 3.5 per cent rate cap increase has been set by the Essential Service Commission in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System. The rate cap applies to the overall rating revenue collected across the entire municipality, not just an individual property. Rates are distributed across all rate types based on valuations.
The City is not involved in deciding how much a property is worth. All properties are valued independently by the Valuer-General of Victoria annually at the start of each year.
Valuers determine valuations by collecting and analysing property sales, planning and building permits, planning information, external and internal inspection data, and occupancy data.
These valuations are provided to the City for use in calculating rates. If you disagree with your property valuation, objections must be lodged directly with the Valuer- General within two months of the date of issue of the rates notice.
The rates notice includes the rates plus additional charges for operating waste services and the Fire Services Levy, which the City collects on behalf of the Victorian Government.
“As the annual rates notice is one of the larger household bills received each year, ratepayers are encouraged to make smaller regular payments to avoid dealing with a lump sum when rates are due,” Ms Howard said.
“The City has many payment schedule options available, and we recommend ratepayers set up a regular direct debit to help reduce financial stress. Please contact our Customer Service staff if you would like to discuss payment options.
“The City is committed to helping customers who are experiencing financial hardship.
“Our Financial Hardship Guidelines allow for flexible payment arrangements, so please contact our Customer Service staff for assistance.”
The rates notice also includes other payment options:
- Pay in full to receive a discount by Monday October 2, 2023 (to receive the discount, any arrears outstanding must also be paid in full along with the current rates and charges, and Fire Services Levy)
- Pay in full by Thursday February 15, 2024 (no discount applicable)
- Pay by four instalments October 2, 2023, November 30, 2023, February 28, 2024, and May 31, 2024 (please note you must meet the first instalment payment to be eligible for the instalment plan)
Please note the Customer Service Centre at Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub is open 8.30am to 4.30pm. The call centre is open until 5pm on 1300 002 642 or you can email:[email protected]
For more information on rates and details on the Financial Hardship Guidelines, please visit:https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Payments/Rates-and-your-Property