Consultation Period Extended - Proposed Budget 2020/21

Published on 11 June 2020

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Ensuring an equitable share of rates burden

Council has proposed to reduce the farming differential rate for the 2020/21 Financial Year following community feedback.

A Draft Budget was endorsed, by Council, for community consultation on 14 April 2020. Feedback to the Draft Budget highlighted a significant shift in the rate burden from the residential sector to the farming sector.

Council CEO Jim Nolan said Council had also now received the 2020 revaluations which has seen a significant increase in the value of rural land when compared with residential and other land across the Pyrenees Shire. 

“While the increase in valuation across all assessments was 15.2%, rural properties experienced a sharp rise of 23.8% in comparison to residential valuations (7.2%), while commercial, industrial, and other property experienced a decrease of 4.2%,” Mr Nolan said.

“While the increased property valuations do not increase the total amount of rate revenue collected by Council, they do impact on individual ratepayers, and Council is keen to provide a fair and equitable distribution of rates across the Shire,” he said.

Mayor Tanya Kehoe said Council had decided to consider a change to its 2019 Rating Strategy and the differentials used to distribute the rate burden.

“Primarily, Council is proposing to move (reduce) its differential for farming land by 5% as opposed to the 0.9% originally planned, in response to the movement in valuations,” Cr Kehoe said.

“The proposed changes to the Rating Strategy are for the 2020/21 financial year only,” she said. 

The new Local Government Act 2020 requires councils to develop new Revenue & Rating Plans after the local government elections this year, by June 2021, which will again be provided for public consultation and will take into account the outcomes of the government’s rating enquiry, due to report to Parliament in March 2021.

“The amended rating strategy will now go on exhibition and members of the public are encouraged to view the document online or drop in to one of our resource centres or the shire offices for a copy, and to make a written submission,” Cr Kehoe said.

Full information on the changes is included in the Rating Strategy Addendum on exhibition.

As a result of the proposed change to the rating strategy, and in the interest of transparency, Council has also decided to extend the period of consultation on the revised draft 2020/21 budget, and written submissions are encouraged.

DOCUMENT INSPECTION: Copies of the Revised Draft Budget 2020/21, and the amended Rating Strategy are available via the links on this page and residents may request a copy of these documents directly from the shire office by calling 1300 797 363 or emailing pyrenees@pyrenees.vic.gov.au.   Physical copies will also be available at Council’s frontline counters: Beaufort Council Offices, Beaufort Resource Centre, and Avoca Information Centre, during opening hours.  It should be noted that as part of the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, these centres are open at reduced hours and only on weekdays for the immediate future.

SUBMISSIONS: Pursuant to Sections 129 and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act) any person has a right to make a written submission on any proposal contained in the Proposed Budget 2020/21.  

Submissions must be received by Council before 5 pm on Friday 10th July 2020. Submissions should be addressed to Chief Executive Officer, Pyrenees Shire, 5 Lawrence Street, Beaufort VIC 3373 or via email to pyrenees@pyrenees.vic.gov.au.

Submissions will be considered in accordance with Section 223 of the 1989 Act.  Any person making a submission is entitled to request in the submission that they wish to appear in person to be heard in support of the submission.  Under current COVID-19 arrangements, anyone wishing to make a personal presentation to Council will be invited to do this via virtual means (audio / visual teleconference) from 4.00pm on Tuesday 14th July 2020.  Arrangements for this will be facilitated by Council staff.

Jim Nolan
Chief Executive Officer

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