Council prepares to set budget
A 23 percent increase in farm land values in the Federation Council area is likely to set the direction for a 14.9 percent rate increase for rural zone land holders according to Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden.
“Rural rates are likely to increase above the level of residential rates following a full analysis of valuations and rate increases,” Mr Eden said.
“Residential land owners are also likely to see a 7 percent increase in the former Corowa Shire and 1.5 percent increase in the former Urana Shire.
“It has been quite a detailed process, working through the analysis of valuations and rate increases because of government direction about rate structures and rate capping, with the 7 percent increase based on a special past approval.”
At council’s monthly meeting on Thursday, Mr Eden is set to consider Council’s Delivery Program 2017-2020 and Operational Plan 2017-2018 which was on public exhibition until June 23.
Mr Eden said feedback captured from residents at the five public meetings held in May, as well as written submissions received up until last Friday, had been considered when finalising the documents.
“In the draft Delivery Program 2017-2020 and Operational Plan 2017-2018 it is highlighted that one of our reoccurring objectives is to engage with our communities and seek feedback on council matters and decisions,” Mr Eden said.
“The public meetings and written submissions have offered great insight and assistance when it has come to the decision making process of these two important documents.”
Mr Eden said he understood no-one liked to pay additional rates, but was confident in the value for money for all stakeholders.
“Investors in farmland have been vindicated, with rising land values across the council area supported by strong commodity prices, good weather and expectations of further growth,” Mr Eden said.
“This prosperous increase in farm land values in the council area is a win for our farmers which in turn shows there is no better time to invest in rural properties in the Federation Council area.”
Mr Eden said council planned to deliver millions into road maintenance and renewal, feedback he said had been consistently received from residents through community meetings and written submissions.
“Council have proposed a capital works budget of $15 million which will be primarily spent on rural roads,” Mr Eden said.
“We know we have some catching up to do in terms of road maintenance and service delivery across the council area and if the rate increase is adopted it will only support our delivery objectives.”