WHEN Rob Wasley received his City of Ballarat rates notice this week, his jaw literally dropped.
The rates on his Talbot Street North unit had risen 31 per cent to $1507.95, compared to last year’s $1146.07.
The capital improvement value, or the total worth of his property, had also gone up more than $100,000 from $234,500 to $339,000.
“What annoys me is that there are three units here and I imagine each one will pay $1500,” Mr Wasley said.
“But I’m pretty sure the brand new house across road will not be paying $4500.”
The former bank worker has owned the CBD property for the past 12 years and said he had noticed his rates rising steadily, but never as much as 30 per cent in a year.
“In 2009, I paid $967 so that’s a $600 increase in just three years. It just doesn’t add up.”
Mr Wasley is now considering asking for a revaluation.
“I can’t refuse to pay it, because then I’ll be charged interest on it, but they can revalue it,” he said.
“You sort of expect a 3 to 5 per cent rate rise, but certainly not 30 per cent.
“I couldn’t believe it. I looked at it again this morning to make sure I’d read it right.”
Mr Wasley said he was also angry his rates had risen when local residents had been trying for the past 20 years to get a service lane behind their properties sealed.
Tree branches cut down outside his unit have been left uncollected for the past week.
“The rates have gone up even though I think they (the Ballarat City Council) could do better. I guess I’ll have to grin and bear it though.”
But Ballarat mayor Mark Harris said rates followed valuations.
“As property values increase, the rate charge will proportionally change,” Cr Harris said.
“This is particularly noticeable for ratepayers when valuations increase dramatically.
“In areas where property prices are static or declining, their rates will remain static or decrease.”
Cr Harris said the council’s general rate increase was 4 per cent, against an average rise across Victoria of 5 per cent.
He said ratepayers with valuation queries should contact council’s Rates and Valuation Hotline on 1300 137 370.
Cr Harris said people could also lodge a formal objection to their valuation within two months of the rates notice issue date.