Farm rate hike

Coun­cil in­ter­venes to off­set ru­ral prop­erty val­u­a­tion blowout of 17.41%

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

WANGARATTA ru­ral prop­erty own­ers will pay less of a share in rates in 2018/19 un­der draft rat­ing strat­egy and bud­get doc­u­ments to re­duce the im­pact of sky­rock­et­ing prop­erty val­u­a­tions.

It comes as the value of ru­ral zoned prop­er­ties have es­ca­lated 17.41 per cent in the past two years, prompt­ing Ru­ral City of Wangaratta coun­cil to pro­pose the re­duced share in the bud­get.

The Fair Go Rates sys­tem de­ter­mines the max­i­mum coun­cils’ rates in­come can in­crease by (2.25 per cent in 2018/19), but this does not mean ev­ery­one’s rates go up by a blan­ket amount.

Val­u­a­tions con­ducted on be­half of the Valuer-Gen­eral Vic­to­ria de­ter­mine how the rate is dis­trib­uted, ac­cord­ing to the Cap­i­tal Im­proved Value (CIV) of a prop­erty.

Ru­ral City of Wangaratta mayor, Ken Clarke, said the spike in ru­ral prop­erty valu- ations meant coun­cil had to in­ter­vene.

“The value of Ru­ral 2 (farms above 40ha in size) prop­er­ties has gone up by 17.54 per cent, while gen­eral prop­er­ties have gone up by just 7.08 per cent,” he said.

“It means that if we did noth­ing, then rates for many res­i­dents in the city would ac­tu­ally go down, while farm­ers would re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant rates hike.”

Coun­cil’s draft rat­ing strat­egy 2018-2022 is cur­rently on ex­hi­bi­tion and pro­poses re­duc­ing the Ru­ral 2 rate to 65 per cent of the gen­eral rate, while the Ru­ral 1 rate (be­tween 2ha and 40ha in size) would be 70 per cent of the gen­eral rate.

This is also re­flected in the draft bud­get 2018/19, which is on ex­hi­bi­tion un­til early this month.

Even with the re­duc­tion, rates for Gen­eral Res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties would rise by 1.03 per cent (or $13 on av­er­age) in 2018/19, com­pared to an av­er­age in­crease of 5.93 per cent for Ru­ral 2 prop­er­ties.

This does not in­clude waste, re­cy­cling and or­ganic charges, or the State Gov­ern­ment’s Fire Ser­vices Levy.

The draft rat­ing strat­egy in­cludes a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions aimed at pro­vid­ing eq­uity in the dis­tri­bu­tion of rates.

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