2019-2021 Rating Strategy Adopted
April 25, 2019
After seeking extensive feedback and views from the community during the development of its 2019-21 Draft Rating Strategy, Colac Otway Shire Council has flagged it will reduce its Rural Farm rate in 2020/21.
Colac Otway’s Rural Farm rate is proposed to reduce by two percentage points from 75 per cent of the differential rate to 73 percent for the 2020-21 financial year.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram said Council placed the draft rating strategy on public exhibition over February and March, and received three submissions which all related to the Rural Farm differential.
Cr Schram said the Council reviewed the Rural Farm rate and considered issues raised by submitters including the challenges they faced as farmers.
“Submitters wanted the Rural Farm differential reduced two percentage points each year from 75 per cent of the base rate, which residents in Colac and Elliminyt pay, to 69 per cent in three years’ time,” he said.
“Council looked at how Colac Otway’s Rural Farm differential compared to 19 other rural shires which ranged from 47 per cent to 100 per cent.
“Council also acknowledged the dairy sector’s reduced profitability and considered all ratepayers’ capacity to pay.
“Colac Otway intends to reduce its Rural Farm rate to 73 per cent for 2020-21, which we hope will create a more equitable rate system, but will not affect the proposed 2019-20 Budget.”
The reduction in the farm differential in 2020/21 will result in other categories paying a greater proportion of the total rates.
For the 2019-20 financial year, properties in the Residential (Colac/Elliminyt) and Holiday Rental categories will pay the 100 per cent base rate; Residential (Balance of Shire) will pay 80 per cent of the base rate; Rural Farm will pay 75 per cent; Commercial/Industrial (Colac/Elliminyt) will pay 165 per cent and Commercial/Industrial (Balance of Shire) will pay 140 per cent for the next two financial years.
In the 2020-21 financial year, the only change is expected to be a reduction in the Rural Farm rate to 73 per cent of the base rate.