Council offers rates assistance
Bass Coast Shire Council has announced additional help for residents and landholders to pay their rates, following the completion of annual property assessments.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said there was no doubt that many residents were feeling the pressure of cost of living increases as a result of higher interest rates, as well as power bills, petrol and food prices going up.
“Bass Coast Shire Council is determined to work hard to keep costs down which is why Council has announced that the annual waste charge will be reduced by $10 per property this year,’’ he said.
“We recognise that some people are doing it tough, so we have special assistance measures to help people pay their rates.’’
These assistance measures include reduced interest for ratepayers who find themselves in financial hardship and whose property in Bass Coast is their principal place of residence. There are also flexible payment options for ratepayers who are struggling financially and find it easier to make weekly or fortnightly payments.
Cr Whelan said many property values on the Bass Coast had increased substantially over the past 12 months due to COVID-19 restrictions being a catalyst for migration from Melbourne to the regions, plus remote work arrangements making regional and country lifestyles practical and appealing.
The State Government has approved a rate cap of 1.75 per cent. Annual property valuations are determined by the Victorian Valuer-General and form the basis of the local government rating system. Unlike land tax which is based on a fixed percentage of value, property valuation increases do not allow Council to raise additional rates.
Valuation changes are used for the purpose of distributing rates between properties within the Shire. This results in different rating outcomes which are based on different revaluation experiences for properties within the Shire.
Council has maintained average rates increases at the 1.75 per cent cap set by the Minister. This means that some rates will increase by less than 1.75 per cent and some will increase by more than the cap. Of all the properties in Bass Coast Shire, 14,984 properties will receive a rates increase either in line with the rate cap or below it. 18,178 ratepayers will pay more than the rate cap.
Property values were assessed on 1 January 2022 by the Valuer-General and are largely based upon research and analysis of property sales and leasing transactions that took place throughout 2021.
If any ratepayer has an objection to their rates notice they can lodge an objection to the State Government within two months of receiving the Notice of Valuation. Ratepayers/landowners are encouraged to lodge objections electronically via the online Rating Valuation Objections Portal at ratingvaluationobjections.vic.gov.au.