Landowner’s rates dou­ble in 12 months

Albany Extra - - Extra | News - Tayler Neale

A re­cent re­view of State Gov­ern­ment re­bates by the City of Al­bany has led to Red­mond res­i­dent Jane Or­chard’s rates bill dou­bling in the past 12 months.

City of Al­bany ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor cor­po­rate ser­vices Michael Cole said some landown­ers were be­ing mis­charged un­til this year.

“The City of Al­bany, along with other lo­cal gov­ern­ments, have re­cently been in­structed by the State Gov­ern­ment’s De­part­ment of Fi­nance to re­view all re­bates that are granted to reg­is­tered pen­sion­ers and se­niors,” he said.

“The re­view has iden­ti­fied that re­bates were be­ing ap­plied to the whole of some com­mer­cial and farm­ing prop­er­ties at the full rate in­stead of a cur­tilage cal­cu­la­tion of 2ha as re­quired.”

Mrs Or­chard said she was shocked when she re­ceived the rates no­tice.

“It came as a real sur­prise to me and my hus­band — to see your rates go up 100 per cent is just in­cred­i­ble,” she said.

“With all the other in­creases in cost of liv­ing this makes things very hard for us.

“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing that a

To see your rates go up 100 per cent is just in­cred­i­ble.

Jane Or­chard

rate payer is be­ing dis­ad­van­taged.”

De­spite the in­creases, Mrs Or­chard said up­grades to roads in her area were lack­ing.

“There have been no up­grades to our roads out here,” she said.

“All they do is come and scrape the top off the road. It’s full of pot­holes and scrap­ing it doesn’t fix the prob­lem. We live on a school bus route so ide­ally it should be sealed.

“(Coun­cil­lor) Ali­son Goode is try­ing to help up­grade the roads but she seems to keep com­ing up against a brick wall.”

Mem­ber for Al­bany Peter Wat­son said the mis­take would af­fect sev­eral pen­sion­ers in the re­gion.

“Landown­ers like Jane have been re­ceiv­ing a dis­count greater than they were en­ti­tled to and the City has now cor­rected this,” he said. “It will have a di­rect im­pact on all pen­sion card hold­ers who live on ru­ral prop­er­ties and it is dis­ap­point­ing that the City made this er­ror pre­vi­ously.”

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Al­bany res­i­dent Jane Or­chard has seen her rates dou­ble in the past year.

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