Encouraging to read contributions from shire councillors in your Letters page in the past few weeks arguing for lower rates but Cr Phil Wright’s letter on February 17 seems to argue for higher rates for ratepayers for better tourist services! Other points he make deserve comment.
His point regarding “market research to identify what the community is willing to pay for” seems sound, but have our shires done so?
Also Phil’s letter says “rates are less than 5 per cent of the taxes paid by the average family” (this could possibly be true if you include GST, stamp duty etc etc and are high income, low rates city ratepayers) but is beside the point when rates are too high anyway.
He also states “rates are a progressive tax with lower income families paying less”. I thought rates were based on property value not income! Owners of more expensive properties usually pay higher rates but families on low incomes also pay high rates.
Finally, I think he is serious, I’m not sure, but he suggests business leaders should encourage businesses to push for higher rates (which could be claimed) because “To make money, you have to spend money”.
Steve Finlay, Leongatha.
The rate debate