Homes on Colac’s fringe face 20% rate rise

Colac Otway Shire Council has warned Elliminyt and Colac landowners could be in for a 20-per-cent rates hike when their next rates bill arrives.

Rural living zone properties in Elliminyt, Colac West and Colac East will attract a rate increase of 20 per cent in Colac Otway Shire Council’s new rating system. The council’s draft budget is open for submissions until May 30.

Rural living zone properties in Elliminyt, Colac West and Colac East will attract a rate increase of 20 per cent in Colac Otway Shire Council’s new rating system. The council’s draft budget is open for submissions until May 30.

The council’s draft budget flags an average rates and charges bill will increase by 5.3 per cent, but extra factors will cause a 20-per-cent increase in some people’s bills.

Council chief Rob Small said landholders at Elliminyt, whose homes were in the rural living zone, would receive the highest rate increases because their rates would rise to match Colac rates.

“It’s entirely dependent on whether their land has a higher valuation, however we have changed a couple of things,” Mr Small said.

“One of those is the properties which were previously in the rural living zone in Elliminyt have now been brought into the town zone so they will see quite a significant increase,” he said.

“That will vary on their valuations; 20 per cent is something of the order in that area.”

Mr Small said the change would affect about 360 ratepayers in Elliminyt, Colac East and Colac West.

“That’s a very substantial increase but it probably recognises that they shouldn’t have been in the farm zone and they shouldn’t have had that advantage for many years,” he said.

The draft budget shows the number of properties in the Colac residential rating category has grown from 5067 to 5475, due to new developments and the reclassification of Elliminyt homes.

The 2014-15 year is also a revaluation year, which means the council has reviewed the value of each rateable property in the shire.

Mr Small said the value of farmland had fallen but properties in “some of the small towns” had risen in value.

“A lot of the farm rates will see a significant reduction, but most of the ordinary town rates won’t shift a lot,” he said.

“I’d say the majority of people will find that either there’s been a reduction or they’re sitting somewhere around the five per cent in the rates bill.”Councillors urged the public to read the draft budget and make submissions by May 30.

“I also don’t like rates, but both sides of politics don’t want to touch rate reform,” Cr Frank Buchanan said.

“They can’t find something better – it is inequitable, it’s not fair, but it’s what we have to work with,” he said.

“Don’t just accept what’s there and go crook about it, make your points and get it into council.”

People can find copies of the report at council’s offices and public libraries in Colac and Apollo Bay, and online at www.colacotway.vic.gov.au

2 Responses to “Homes on Colac’s fringe face 20% rate rise”

  1. Chris Smith

    There is so much spin in this article I am feeling dizzy.
    First the rate rise is 7%. Second the rise in Elliminyt is at least 25.9% on average BEFORE any addition for the revaluation which will add around another 3.5% on average to ALL Colac / Elliminyt homes. Reality is that the average ratepayer in Elliminyt will pay 29.4% MORE than last years and Colac Ratepayers will pay over 10% more on average than last year.

    Elliminyt last year .003429 This year .004317 difference .000888 / .003429 gives you the RATE increase of 25.9%.

    Yes some farms may see a slight drop (around 2.9%) in actual Rates Notice but if this is regarded as “significant” then a 29.4% hike can only be described as “catastrophic”.
    Bearing in mind last years COS increase of 7.2% was one of the States highest, and $1,400,000 EXTRA in rates will be paid by COS ratepayers next year. 🙁 🙁 🙁
    Surely ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

    • Walter

      I doubt Cr Smith had clue what he is talking about. As usual!!
      Council does need to closely look at what it spends on what dubious activities, such as environmental activities, wastage on economic development projects and services that should be looked at closely. Yes there is a lot of cost shifting from all state governments to local councils, but does Council ever really look at how efficient it operates? I doubt it very much.