Thursday, June 21, 2012

vlga - local governments must retain rate powers

Local governments must retain rate powers

The Victorian Government has recently introduced amendments to the Local Government Act which will change the process for local governments to implement differential rates.  Differential rates are levied on particular types of properties at a higher or lower rate than the standard rate.  These rates respond to important local land use planning, economic development or social issues.  The State Government is seeking to implement new guidelines for differential rates and to provide the Local Government Minister the power to prevent local governments from implementing differential rates.

VLGA President, Cr Samantha Dunn, today said, “Many local governments have worked with their communities to develop differential rates which reflect council and community objectives.  Differential rates can be used to encourage beneficial land uses or to help communities address the impact of some land uses.  In particular, the VLGA believes it is vital that local governments retain the ability to develop rating strategies that help address important social issues.”

“The VLGA welcomes the six-month consultation process for the development of guidelines on differential rates.  We will be working with the State Government, local governments and community leaders to ensure that the new guidelines continue to allow local governments to address defined objectives by implementing differential rates and associated policies and programs,” said Cr Dunn.

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