ONLY two of the 39 Maroondah Council candidates declared that they had received a campaign donation of more than $500 for last October's election.
In Yarra Ranges, three of the 33 candidates declared such donations.
Under the Local Government Act, candidates have until 40 days after an election to submit a campaign donation return.
Any amount under $500 does not need to be lodged with the council chief executive officer, even if the candidate receives several of these donations.
Municipal Association of Victoria CEO Rob Spence said this was misleading. "The candidates could have a whole lot of $499 donations," he said.
Mr Spence said candidate donations should be revealed before voting begins. "In local government it's hard to understand who [the candidates] are, who is supporting them and who's financing them."
In Maroondah, mayor Nora Lamont declared a $1500 gift and unsuccessful candidate Bentleigh Gibson a $1220 gift.
In Yarra Ranges, Cr Samantha Dunn declared a $3430.29 gift from the Australian Greens Victoria, far exceeding any other local candidate.