It is my understanding that the Farming Rate, which is already discounted by 10 per cent will be decreased to a further 30 per cent discount.
If so, this is a major issue for normal families, retirees and even commercial ratepayers.
Do farmers’ rates go down while everyone else’s go up?
I hope that I am wrong and if so can Councillor Fawcett, the Shire Mayor, clarify the situation in his next press release?
If I am correct, then what are the issues (don’t mind being wrong)?
Famer’s rates are a tax deduction.
They probably already get up to 30 per cent real income tax deduction benefit from their existing rates.
Is not the greed by the already existing wealthy an interesting issue of concern?
As self-funded retirees, pensioners, or normal wage earners, do you get a tax deduction for your council rates?
If this farm rate discount happens with a resulting increase in all other rates, a class action case should be considered.
Our non-farming rates are one of the highest in Victoria simply due to the fact that:
1. Our municipality is too large for the number of rateable properties – not enough properties.
2. Our council does not have a positive attitude to encourage further residential development. Where is the marketing strategy to promote Leongatha as a green change destination for retirees? It has most of the shire infrastructure facilities and is ideally set up for this strategy.
3. Our council staff numbers are more related to an outer suburban municipality, not an economically unviable rural shire. Why won’t council downsize the existing infrastructure to match our financial capabilities without increasing all rates, except for the farm rate, which may be further discounted?
4. Since amalgamation the council has lost the vision of supporting a major centre, Leongatha, which all the other towns feed off to their individual benefit. Does SGS have a heart?
Is it the simple truth that the South Gippsland Shire is not big enough and whilst property values plummet, rates go up to support the existing staff numbers?
If the farm rate goes down then this should be financially supported by a reduction in council expenditure.
The rest of the normal people pay enough.
If you rate us more, then no one will want to come here to live as the rates are too high.
I think this is already happening.
Where are the ‘Green Change’ lifestyle people – definitely not Leongatha.
Look at Bair Street to see the effect- this affects us all.
The capital of the shire, Leongatha, is currently a declining town, but it could be much better.
Is it time to ring your local councillor about this rate issue or just cop it when and if it happens?
I think they would all love to hear from you.
David Turnbull, Leongatha