State Government policy hearing on rate capping

Ratepayers Victoria Inc.

On Wednesday the 8th August 2018,ratepayers Victoria were invited to speak at a parliamentary hearing into State Government policy to cap local government rates
Minister David Davis chaired the meeting
RPV expressed our concern that the present rate capping system is allowing some councils to charge ratepayers more than the 2.25% rate cap. RPV did point out that the general rate on the rate notice is the only component that is subject to rate capping.RPV did strongly that the local government minister has to take a strong stand and make all components on the rate notice be subject to the rate cap
An example is that a Melbourne council Knox council in 2016 had their waste service charge included in their general rates ,in 2017 they implemented the waste charge as a separate component which is not subject to rate capping
RPV did point out that the present rate system is most unfair and that country ratepayers are strongly disadvantaged by the present system.70% of our ratepayers live in metropolitan Melbourne
Some country ratepayers are paying up to three or four times more in their rates than the city ratepayers .Governments are trying ratepayers encourage ratepayers to live in the country areas but RPV ask as to why you would want to do as such when council rates are so high
RPV did discuss that charitable organizations pay no council rates yet farmers who are in drought mode still are hit with normal council rates.RPV strongly consider that farms that are considered drought areas should pay no council rates until their farms return to normal
Chairperson David Davis did point out that country councils used to get a payment of one million dollars from the State Government per year to assist them with the infrastructure costs of their country councils ,but when the State Labor did come to power in 2014 they did scrap this payment .This payment has to be returned to country councils
RPV did discuss the lack of accountability at council level and pointed out that the Federal Government is considering to put “corporate cops “ into the banking system to monitor the actions of banks
RPV did mention that we have been trying for the last four years to implement independent monitors in most councils to oversee that ratepayers money is been spent wisely and within the local government act .These monitors would be independent from the local government minister’s office and would be appointed by people from say the Inspectorate ,ombudsman ,Auditor General ,IBAC and so on
The parliamentary committee did thank RPV for the tireless work they do to support our ratepayers of Victoria
Jack Davis
President RPV

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