Outrage over council’s new rubbish collection tax: ‘They’re just finding new ways to scam everyone’
A city council and Melbourne residents are going to war over a proposed new “garbage tax” that has enraged residents over the fee that could be as high as $115.
Yarra Council currently includes the cost of waste disposal in the general rate bill it hands out to residents, but is now proposing to list that as a separate line item on their rates.
The council claims the move will make fare messages “more transparent,” but the move has been criticized by residents as a way of circumventing limits on fare increases.
According to council documents, the fee could be $115.
“They’re just finding new ways to rip everyone off,” Vice President of Taxpayers Victoria Dean Hurlston told Nine’s A Current Affair.
“It may not be a real loophole, but it’s a technical way for them to get around the cap, so it’s a money grab.”
Some residents fear that if the waste disposal levy falls outside the 3.5 per cent limit of council rates, costs could rise exponentially, with Mr Hurlston claiming rates could rise by 20 per cent a year.
“The city officials, the administration, the CEO, they’re explicitly saying, ‘We’ve got to get that charge out from under the rate cap so we can charge unimpeded, basically,'” Yarra Council resident Ken told the show.
Outraged residents have taken matters into their own hands, with the Yarra Residents Collective’s petition against the ‘garbage tax’ garnering more than 4,500 signatures.
Residents have held numerous meetings to coordinate their efforts to prevent the “trash can tax” from being introduced
“This is a municipality in a spending crisis that is simply trying to push its problem onto residents with this new waste tax,” the petition reads.
The council has defended its decision to review the proposal, saying it is not introducing a new tax and that it is the last council in Victoria to separate waste levy from tariffs.
“Seventy-six councils in Victoria have already segregated waste charges and two others have decided to do so,” a spokesman said.
Yarra Council will meet on March 14 to discuss the proposal and has hired private security guards during the meeting, according to councilor Stephen Jolly, who opposes the bin tax.
“Locals are not violent neo-Nazis, they are just against Bin Taxes and want to use their (trimmed) rights to speak at the rally,” Jolley said on Twitter.
“Very, very bad sight.”
The council attempted to introduce a similar fee earlier in 2017, but was forced to abandon the plan due to public opposition.