BAW Baw Shire’s rates have increased by an average of 6.79 per cent per year over the past decade, 0.8 per cent above the Victorian average.
Yesterday the state government released statistics showing the state-wide average annual increase for the past decade to be 5,99 per cent.
Baw Baw’s latest increase of 3.6 per cent was the lowest increase in the last decade, while a string of unexpected costs saw an 11 per cent increase in 2012/13’s rates.
The state government has used the statewide data as justification for its new rate capping policy, which will tie rates to CPI from next financial year onwards. Councils wanting to raise rates further will have to apply to the state government for permission.
“Victorians expect greater value, more of a say, and a better understanding of the work their councils are doing – and it’s something the Andrews Labor government expects too,” local government minister Natalie Hutchins said in a media release.
“Our Fair Go Rates cap won’t cut existing budgets and it won’t stop councils providing much-needed services and facilities. What it will deliver is greater value for money and councils that listen and respond to the needs of their community.”
Baw Baw CEO Helen Anstis listed rate capping as one of a number of financial pressures which prompted the council’s massive restructure earlier this year. Councillors have often mentioned rates are one of very few ways regional councils can make money to deliver services to large areas.
Baw Baw’s rates increases over the past decade have been:
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