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Horsham rating strategy

Horsham rating strategy

Horsham ratepayers invited to have their say on council's rating strategy

A Horsham draft Rating Strategy 2019-2023 is now available for public feedback and includes a farm-sector differential change from 80 to 67 per cent of the general rate.

Horsham Rural City Council voted at its latest meeting to place the draft Rating Policy and draft Rating Strategy on public exhibition and to invite submissions.

The draft rating plan also includes establishing a 95 percent differential of the general rate for commercial and industrial sectors; reducing a flat municipal charge per property from $287 to $200; applying a $30 rebate per property for eligible pensioners in addition to a state-funded pensioner rebate; and applying a Differential Review Trigger of plus or minus five percent relative to property valuation movement per sector.

If the draft is accepted unchanged it would mean an average rate decrease for farm land of 3.6 per cent in the 2019-20 financial year, which would be offset by an average increase of 3.7 per cent for residential rates.

The draft strategy is based on a council evaluation of recommendations from a Rates Strategy Advisory Committee.

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Horsham council rates rose to the capped increase of 2.25 per cent, on average, in the 2018-19 financial year.

However a breakdown of the rates meant residential rates decreased by 0.6 per cent, while farm rates increased by 11.8 per cent.

The Victorian Labor government committed to a launch an inquiry into the state’s council rating system if re-elected, it is yet to announce when the inquiry would take place.

The independent committee consisted of nine ratepayers and two advisers. It presented its report to council in December.

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