It is unfortunate that the Eastern Riverina Chronicle chose to run a story on median rate values in towns in the Greater Hume Shire, (ERC…29/2/2012) purporting to show inequity in town rating, rather than a report on why council altered rate-setting to a fairer method for all towns. Median rates have nothing to do with what individual ratepayers pay.
The major part of Local Government rates in G H Shire is struck on an ad valorem basis. The Concise Oxford Dictionary states that, ad valorem means… “ (of taxes) in proportion to estimated value of goods (L. = according to the value).”
Council is therefore obliged to strike rates on the value of land on values supplied by the Valuer General.
Since 2005, GH Shire has been aligning rates on land in the five towns aiming towards one common figure, according to value. For the year 2011-12, it was decided it was taking too long to arrive at a common rate for land and sewerage rates, therefore change was needed. There is one rate per land value on all residential land, irrespective of location or the Valuer General’s value within the city limits of both Albury and Wagga Wagga.
Rural land rates, whether at Bulgandra, Bungowannah, Carabost or Cookardinia, have been set on one figure of value per hectare since the inception of the shire. There are huge differences in these land values, but all properties pay the same rate based on value per hectare given by the Valuer General. Rural rates provide about 65% of the rate income of the shire.
On the previous rate setting a property at Jindera valued at $175,000 paid
$694-68 ad valorem rate and one at Holbrook, valued at $178,000 paid
$2,033-78 ad valorem rate. Not very fair in most people’s judgement!
Council then decided that something had to change, to be fairer to all town ratepayers and now property of equal value in any town within the shire pay the same ad valorem rate and the same sewerage rate.
Hope this clarifies the matter.
Councillor John Ross…Greater Hume Shire
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