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Review Of Council Funding Still A Priority

Rates Rebate Scheme Welcome – But Be Wary Of Councils Which May Use Higher Rebate Levels As An Excuse To Increase Rates


The introduction of a realistic rates rebate scheme will be welcomed by thousands of ratepayers who have born the brunt of huge rate increases over the last few years.

However there is a real danger that local councils will look upon the revised level of rebates as an excuse for increasing expenditure without infuriating their residents who will be able to claim up to $500 in rebate.

Clarification is also needed on whether or not regional council rates will be included for the purpose of calculating total rates payable by individual households

While this rates relief measure is welcome it should not cloud the real issue of the inequity of using property values as a base for local taxation.

We welcome confirmation from Local Government Minister Chris Carter that a major review of local authority funding is under way with a report due at the end of year.

That review must result in the end of property values as the basis for local taxation.

There can be no doubt that the impact of the Rates Rebellion over the last two years has been a major motivator in these latest moves to bring long-awaited relief to over-burdened ratepayers.

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