Moira Shire residents, businesses and community groups are invited to provide feedback on Moira Shire Council’s Draft Rating and Service Charges Strategy.
The council’s corporate general manager Simon Rennie said the strategy defined how the funding of council services was shared amongs categories of ratepayers such as residential, farm and commercial properties.
The strategy also sets out how council fees and charges including those for municipal, environmental and kerbside waste collection are calculated.
‘‘The overall strategy is defined by the requirements of the Local Government Act but within this framework there are options for councils to tailor their strategy to suit their shire,’’ Mr Rennie said.
‘‘Council and management have developed the strategy through workshops and briefings. We are now asking the community to tell us if the strategy sets the right balance among the different categories of ratepayers and among the various charges.
‘‘We are seeking feedback by 5pm Thursday, 24 May 2018. This extended feedback period will overlap with consultation on our forthcoming draft 2018-19 budget which has been built using the proposed Rating and Service Charges strategy.’’
Key proposals in the draft Rating and Service Charges Strategy:
●Capital Improved Value (CIV) remains the basis for raising rates.
‘‘Moira Shire currently uses the CIV to calculate rates. There are changes proposed to the Local Government Act that may come into effect later this year and they include mandating the use of CIV by most councils,’’ Mr Rennie said.
●Continue to use differential rating with no change to existing rate differentials.
‘‘Differential rating distributes the rating burden among categories of ratepayers. Our draft strategy proposes retaining the existing differentials, for example residential and farm property categories will continue to pay 100 per cent of the base rate while vacant rural and residential and vacant commercial pay 200 per cent of the base rate,’’ Mr Rennie said.
‘‘In this instance the differential provides an incentive for the development of land zoned for these purposes; it also recognises that undeveloped properties will generally have a lower CIV and will pay a lower overall rates bill.’’
●No change to council’s existing municipal charge. Moira Shire Council’s current municipal charge is designed to recover a portion of the administrative costs of council. The charge is currently set at 19.1% of total rate revenue.
“Proposed changes to the Local Government Act include restricting the municipal charge to no more than 10 per cent of total rate revenue, if or when these amendments to the municipal charge are confirmed,’’ Mr Rennie said.