Cashing in on beach boxes

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Despite their rather precarious positioning under eroding cliffs and washed by waves, owners of these beach boxes at Mt Martha Beach North can still ask high prices if selling, and must pay increased licence fees if approved in Mornington Peninsula Shire’s 2019/20 budget.

Owners of those cute, colourful bathing boxes scattered around Mornington Peninsula beaches are facing massive licence fee increases.

Visitors take pictures of the beach boxes that also regularly attract the eye of the metropolitan-based media because of their escalating values.

Their values are compared to those of family houses elsewhere.

But this year Mornington Peninsula Shire is seeing the beach boxes as a source of increasing revenue.

The shire’s 2019/20 budget, now open for public comment, replaces the flat $445 a year licence fee for bathing boxes with a fee based on the structure’s size.

Beach boxes measuring five to 17.99 square metres will attract an annual licence fee of $990. More than 18 square metres will face a charge of $1200 while those coming in under five square metres will pay $700.

On top of that, anyone selling a beach box must also pay the shire 6.5 per cent of the capital improved value, with a minimum of $3150, up from the previous minimum of $2100.

Asked to confirm the new fees and why the shire had decided to increase bathing box fees, the shire’s property and strategy manager Nathan Kearsley replied: “Yes, the single licence fee is proposed to be replaced with a tiered fee structure based on the size of the bathing box.”                    

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 9 April 2019

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