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Rates bills burn wallets

THE latest council rates bills have sparked cries of exasperation in households and businesses, leaving ratepayers frustrated by rising rates and claiming they see nothing extra for their money.
South Gippsland Shire ratepayers reported rates increase of up to $1000 in 12 months.
Changes in property valuations are responsible for most of the rates changes, said Faith Page, South Gippsland Shire Council’s director of corporate and community services.
The latest rates notices to hit letterboxes are the first to use the 2018 property valuations on which rates are based. Valuations will now be undertaken annually instead of every two years, meaning ratepayers can expect even higher bills.
South Gippsland council increased rates by two percent this financial year, less than the rates cap imposed by the State Government of 2.25 percent. Bass Coast rates lifted by 2.25 percent.
Korumburra ratepayer Cheryl Denman is on a disability pension and said her rates bill had increased by $100 this financial year to $2238.55, for her four acre property and house. In 2008, her rates for the same property were $1400.
“How do I find the money to pay these exorbitant rate rises?” she said.
Ms Page said council offers a hardship policy and encourages ratepayers facing financial difficulty to contact it. Council also offers payment options to assist ratepayers.
Ms Page said in South Gippsland, the fewer properties results in a higher proportion of rates being distributed amongst ratepayers, adding “the only way to lower rates would be to reduce services and/or spend less on capital works.”
Bass Coast Shire Council CEO Paul Buckley said council’s capped average rate is the third lowest across the group of 19 large rural councils in Victoria.
“Some ratepayers will pay more and some will pay less, depending on the value of their property relative to the other properties in their municipality,” he said.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25772

Posted by on Sep 11 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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