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How does Council pay for community services?

Raising money

There are 4 main ways that Council raises money:

  • Rates
  • Fees
  • Grants
  • Loans

Rates

Every property owner in Maroondah pays an amount to the Council each year called 'rates'. The amount depends on the value of the property - the more valuable the property, the higher the rates.

The property owner can pay the rates all at once or in 4 parts called 'instalments' spread over the year.

A property valuer working for Council reviews the value of each property every 2 years.

Fees

People in Maroondah pay fees for some Council services. For example:

  • entry fees to go to a swimming pool
  • registration fees for dogs and cats
  • fee for a special rubbish collection
  • tickets for a concert or art show organised by Council
  • permits for buildings or to remove large trees.

There are also fees called 'fines', which are collected from people who have ignored the rules. Examples of these include:

  • if your library book is overdue, you pay a fine before you can borrow another one
  • if a car is parked too long in a restricted area, its owner has to pay a parking fine
  • if a dog is found wandering around the streets and taken to the pound, its owner has to pay a fine to get it back.

Grants

Each year the State and Federal Governments collect money called 'taxes' from Australian citizens and businesses. Some of these taxes are given to local government in the form of grants.

Sometimes these grants are for something specific, like the development of the former Ringwood Primary School into the Maroondah Federation Estate, but Council can decide how other grants will be used.

Loans

Council can borrow money for larger projects and repay the loan over a number of years. However, interest must be paid as well as the original amount borrowed, so this is an expensive way to raise money.

Spending revenue

One of the main roles of Council is to manage the money it raises and in June each year it allocates amounts of money to be spent in various areas. This is called a 'budget'.

There are some things that must always be included in the budget: services like rubbish removal, and the maintenance of roads, paths, street lighting, bike tracks and parks - the things that make Maroondah a safe and pleasant place to live and work.

New projects

People who live here often suggest new projects. Some might request a new netball centre to benefit the local netball clubs. Other groups may want roundabouts in their street to slow the traffic, a stop sign at a dangerous corner, a drinking tap or more play equipment in their park.

Council staff work out how much the projects would cost and who would benefit from them. Then they can work out their priorities and include them in the budget. Once Council approves a project it can go ahead.

Council meetings

Anyone can attend Council meetings to hear what is going on or to present their point of view and watch the councillors vote on a particular issue. If there is an equal number of votes for and against a project, the Mayor can use their vote to decide the issue.

Maroondah City Council usually meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the Council Chambers in Braeside Avenue, Ringwood.

03/05/2017
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