ABOUT 435 properties in Boronia are believed to have been over-valued, resulting in steep rate rises for some residents.
Concerns over excessive home valuations were raised by Knox councillor John Mortimore — a candidate in the October 27 council elections — at a council meeting two weeks ago after several residents contacted him.
His concerns prompted an investigation by the council that discovered properties had been incorrectly valued in areas east of Dorset Road, Boronia, and outside the Boronia Activity Centre.
The Weekly understands 435 properties are involved.
In documents shown to the Weekly last week before the council recognised the mistake, one resident's home had been assessed for an increase of more than $300,000.
The owner, who did not want to be named, said he and his wife were shocked to discover their land had been valued at $821,000 for 2012-13.
It was valued at just $496,000 in 2010, when the last round of valuations by independent valuers took place.
Because of the increased property value, the man's rates increased by 62 per cent from $1051 to $1741, which prompted him to contact the council.
The couple received a call from the council on Monday telling them their revised property value was $508,000.
Valuers had placed the high price on the home because of its potential for development and proximity to public transport.
But under the Dandenong Foothills Policy, the man's property could not be subdivided and therefore could not be earmarked for potential development.
Land in the residential 3 zone cannot be subdivided into lots of less than 1000 square metres — the man's property is 1799 square metres.
When the owner first queried the rise at the rates office, he was told the property had been rated for potential use rather than existing use.
However, the Valuation Land Act 1960 states that the valuations should be based on "the use to which such land is being put at the relevant time".
The council's chief executive officer Graeme Emonson apologised for the inconvenience and said a letter was sent to all affected residents last week.
The council was now reassessing all affected properties in the area and would reissue valuations and rates notices "where required".
In 2001, more than 1000 properties in Knox were found to be incorrectly valued.