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Draft Rating and Service Charges Strategy out for community feedback

Publish Date: 29/03/2018

Moira Shire residents, business and community are invited to provide feedback on Moira Shire Council’s draft Rating and Service Charges Strategy.

General Manager Corporate Simon Rennie said the strategy defines how the funding of council services is shared amongst 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.

Mr Rennie said, "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."

"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 rate payers and among the various charges," said Mr Rennie.

"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.

"To view a copy of the draft Strategy and for more information about how to provide feedback please visit our website or call our customer service team," said Mr Rennie.

Key proposals in the draft Rating and Service Charges Strategy

  • Capital Improved Value (CIV) remains the basis for raising rates.

Mr Rennie said, "Moira Shire currently uses the CIV to calculate rates. There are changes proposedto the Local Government Act that may come into effect later this year and they include mandatingthe use of CIV by most councils."

  • Continue to use differential rating with no change to existing rate differentials.

"Differential rating distributes the rating burden amongst categories of rate payers. Our draft strategyproposes retaining the existing differentials, for example residential and farm property categorieswill continue to pay 100% of the base rate while vacant rural and residential and vacant commercialpay 200% of the base rate," said Mr Rennie.

"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," said Mr Rennie.

  • 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% of total rate revenue. If or when these amendments to the municipal charge are confirmed council will develop a transition program to progressively adjust the charge in line with the deadlines for implementation of the new legislation," said Mr Rennie.

  • Revised waste service charges.

Mr Rennie said the review of council’s waste service charges was timely in the context of current waste and recycling issues.

"We have proposed changes to our Environmental Levy and kerbside waste collection charges to improve their transparency. As a result our Environmental Levy will almost halve but our general waste kerbside collection charge will increase by the corresponding amount," said Mr Rennie.

Not an Extra Revenue Raising Exercise

Mr Rennie also adds "The above rating strategy and service charge changes do not raise any extra revenue for the Council, except for the general increase of 2.25% in rates and service charges which is set in line with rate capping."

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