Calculate rate increases fairer - Seeliger
A fairer way of calculating rate increases by Federation Council has been requested by Mulwala resident Peter Seeliger.
“I am not here today to talk about the rate review (see separate story) or to lower the income to the ‘shire’ or the way ordinary rates are calculated by council,” the inaugural Federation Council
Citizen of the Year 2018 told council’s monthly meeting on April 17.
“But I am seeking a fairer way of calculating rate increases that are sanctioned by IPART (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal) and why I believe this change should occur now and not until a rate review has been finalised in a couple of years’ time.
“This method will not change the amount council collects, but will allow rate increases to be collected fairly.”
Mr Seeliger provided various examples of the results by council in allocating rate increases among the different ratepayer categories: residential, business and farmland.
Quoting 2016/17, for example, with residential rate increase of 18.46%, business 8.24% and farmland 6.72%, he said residential rate increase of 18.46% on a $90,000 property was $108.89, on a $1.1 million property the increase would be $646.14 which works out to be $537.25 variation.
“Using my method in the 2017/18 year for farmland, residential and business, the in- crease in that year was $400,706.00. If that figure was divided by the number of assessments, which in this case is 6618, this will give an even distribution of the rate increase - an increase of only $60.55 for everyone.”
Mr Seeliger, a former Corowa Shire Councillor, reminded Federation Council that Mul- wala’s rate contribution is nearly double the average rates of Corowa and Howlong. “Business rates for Mulwala are 3.6 times more than Howlong and 3.2 times more than Corowa. I believe that will be addressed in the coming rate review.”
Peter Seeliger addressing Federation Council.