RURAL City of Wangaratta ratepayers have been lumped with the second highest municipal rates percentage increase in Victoria.
The Municipal Association of Victoria’s annual rates survey shows the rural city’s rates, municipal charge and waste management charge are up 6.99 per cent on the previous year.
The only council among the state’s 79 municipalities with a higher rise is Murrindindi with 8.19 per cent.
The survey shows the average rate increase across Victoria’s 79 councils had dropped to a 10 year low of 3.8 per cent per property – down from last year’s 4.2 per cent average rate rise.
Council administrators have previously defended the rate rise, saying governance costs exceeding $2m, and the loss of several million dollars in federal and state governments funding have necessitated the rise.
And council’s acting finance manager, Tony Raven told the Wangaratta Chronicle on Friday that a percentage increase didn’t tell the whole picture.
“Out of the 79 municipalities, which differ vastly from each other in size, the median rates figure is $1830, making Wangaratta only $22 dearer,” Mr Raven said.
“If you want to compare apples to apples by looking at the rates of all the 12 regional cities, the median rates figure is $1969 compared to Wangaratta’s $1852, making us the fourth cheapest.”