Tullamarine residents flabbergasted over rate hikes

Up in arms: Sue Aikas (front, showing her rates bill), with other Tullamarine residents, has slammed the council over valuations.TULLAMARINE residents have banded together to fight Hume Council’s valuation of their properties, which has led to rate rises of up to 80 per cent.
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The council announced an average rate increase of 5.4 per cent this year, based on routine valuations.

A council valuations report, released two weeks ago, showed the capital improved value (CIV) of each Hume suburb from 2010 to this year.

Tullamarine’s total residential CIV increased from $860 million in 2010 to $1.02 billion this year – up by 19 per cent.

Londrew Court resident Sue Aikas said last week she was appalled when she opened her rates bill envelope to find a 55 per cent increase, jumping from $1047 last year to $1626.

“We’re up in arms. We’re going to form some sort of committee to see what we can do,” she said.

“I’ve contacted council and said they need to re-evaluate all houses in that area.”

Ms Aikas said she had not made any improvements to her single-storey three-bedroom house in the past year.

“If anything, the [brick-veneer] house has deteriorated,” she said.

“It’s a very old house, to the point where I wouldn’t renovate it; I’d pull it down.

“The public needs to be aware. I’m sure there’s a lot of old people paying rates. The elderly don’t always question these things.”

Broadmeadows Progress Association president Betty Kosanovic, who also lives in Tullamarine, had a rake hike of 72 per cent, up from $859 last year to $1480 this year.

She said an increase in the number of multiple townhouses on properties near her Melrose Drive house could have been the reason for her big rate hike.

“Council is saying it’s basing valuations on the price of the houses being sold … basically most of those houses are being bought by developers,” she said.

“They’re building up to three townhouses on one block. One unit is the same cost as one house.”

Council spokesman Michael Sinclair said he could not comment on how many residents were objecting to rates.

He also did not explain why the rates in Tullamarine had increased so dramatically.

Council chief executive Domenic Isola said this month: “As a result of revaluation, the value of some properties will rise, while others will go down, meaning properties with higher market value attract higher rates than those of lesser value.”

Ratepayers can object to the valuation of a property within two months of the date of their rate notice.

Details: hume.vic.gov.au