Two City of Greater Shepparton councillors declared the region is getting ‘‘screwed’’ by other levels of government during a debate about the municipality’s rating strategy.By Jarrod Whittaker
Two City of Greater Shepparton councillors declared the region is getting ‘‘screwed’’ by other levels of government during a debate about the municipality’s rating strategy.
Crs Kevin ‘‘Gunna’’ Ryan and Dennis Patterson used the term when describing attitudes towards local government.
Cr Ryan accused the Victorian Government of using local government to raise revenue — citing the fire services levy as an example.
‘‘Every time they want to do something, they go back to local government to raise money,’’ he said.
‘‘I believe it is untenable.’’
Cr Ryan said it was time for the council to lobby other tiers of government through the Municipal Association of Victoria to address the situation.
Cr Patterson said ratepayers would struggle in the future.
‘‘It will get to the point where the average person won’t be able to pay rates,’’ he said.
A council officer’s report for the 2013-14 budget stated rate increases were required in part because of declining funding from other levels of government.
The two councillors made the comments during a debate about council’s Rating Strategy 2013-2017.
Councillors unanimously voted to adopt the strategy at their Tuesday night meeting.
The strategy determines what share of the rate burden is paid by different property types.
It result in lower rates for owners of commercial and industrial properties.
During the last financial year, rates for Commercial Improved One properties were 301 per cent of residential rates.
This will decrease to 257 per cent in 2013-14 and 217 per cent in 2014-15.
Industrial Improved One will decrease from 267 per cent of residential rates last year to 204 per cent during the same period.
The new strategy also included rate increases for unimproved commercial and industrial land to 200 per cent of residential rates by 2014-2015.
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