FARMERS will be about $250 better off under Pyrenees Shire's proposed rate redistribution for next financial year, the state's farming advocacy body calculates.
A Victorian Farmers Federation spokesperson told The Courier said the change would be a step in the right direction for equity in rates paid across the shire but there was still room for greater balance.
This comes with a sharp increase in farming land value across the shire with rural properties marked up 23 per cent compared to a 7.2 per cent rise in residential value and a 4.2 per cent downturn in commercial, industry and other properties across the Pyrenees.
On average, property values across the Pyrenees have increased 15 per cent.
Pyrenees Shire has put forward a five per cent move in the rate differential for farmers instead of the 0.9 per cent outlined in the April draft budget.
By VFF numbers, the average farm business in the Pyrenees would pay $450 more in rates the year ahead while residential land owners would receive a $20 discount.
Pyrenees Shire chief executive officer Jim Nolan said while individual rates may vary, the total revenue council was raising would not increase as a result.
Mr Nolan said council was mindful of concerns in the farming community about paying more than their fair share in rates, while at the same time council had to juggle the burden in rate changes to the shire's urban dwellers.
"Each year there are factors that influence this, it comes in swings and roundabouts," Mr Nolan said. "We're trying to find some balance and smooth it out...The big issue we're trying to grapple with in the budget is rating strategy at the moment."
Property valuation happens every 12 months, with the Victorian Valuer-General aiming to reflect the value of properties on January 1.
Pyrenees Shire has extended community consultation on its 2020/21 draft budget, due to the proposed rating strategy change, with written submissions to be received by 5pm on July 10.
Victoria's new Local Government Act 2020 will require all councils to develop new revenue and rates plans after this year's council elections and by June 2021.
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