Outrage over council’s proposed rubbish collection ‘bin tax’: ‘They are just finding new ways to scam everyone’
A Melbourne council and residents are set to go to war over a proposed new ‘bin tax’ that has enraged residents over the fee that could reach $115.
Yarra Council currently includes the cost of waste service removal in its general rates bill that it hands out to residents, but it is now proposing to list that as a separate line item on their rates notice.
The council claims the move will make rate notices ‘more transparent’, but the move has been slammed by residents as a way to get around caps on rate rises.
The fee could reach $115 according to council documents.
‘They are just finding new ways to scam everyone,’ vice president of Ratepayers Victoria Dean Hurlston told Nine’s A Current Affair.
‘It may not be an actual loophole but it’s a technical way for them to get around the cap, so it’s a cash grab.’
Some residents are worried that if the waste removal charge sits outside the 3.5 per cent cap on council rates, it could see the cost increase exponentially, with Mr Hurlston claiming rates could increase by 20 per cent a year.
‘The council officers, the administration, the CEO, they’re explicit in saying ‘We need to pull that charge out from under the rates cap so we can charge basically unhindered,’ Yarra Council local Ken told the show.
Outraged residents have taken matters into their own hands, with the Yarra Residents Collective’s petition against the ‘bin tax’ reaching more than 4500 signatures.
Residents have held numerous meetings to coordinate their efforts to stop the ‘bin tax’ from being introduceds
‘This is a council in a spending crisis that is simply trying to push its problem onto residents with these new bin taxes,’ the petition reads.
The council has defended it decision to review the proposal, saying it is not introducing a new tax and that it is the last council in Victoria to separate the waste charge from the rates notice.
‘Seventy-six councils in Victoria have already separated waste service charges and two others have resolved to,’ a spokesperson said.
Yarra Council is set to meet on March 14 over the proposal and has hired private security guards over the meeting according to Councillor Stephen Jolly who opposes the ‘bin tax’.
‘Locals are not violent neo-Nazis, they simply oppose Bin Taxes and want to use their (truncated) rights to speak at the meeting,’ Mr Jolley said on Twitter.
‘Very, very bad look.’
The council previously tried to introduce a similar fee in 2017 but was forced to abandon the plan due to the public’s opposition.