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Property’s rates increase by 52 per cent in two years

WITH rates notices rolling in across the Southern Grampians Shire this week, one local said he was frustrated and felt farmers had been left to bear the brunt of the rates rise.

Balmoral farmer, James Russell labelled the system as “unbalanced” after receiving the rates notice for his 2000-acre family farm on Monday and discovering the price had increased by more than 52 per cent in the space of two years.

Mr Russell said he found it “disgraceful” that a bill of around $11,000 in 2018 could jump to $17,000 this year, without explanation or justification.

When council adopted the 2020-21 draft budget in June, it announced an overall 1.75 per cent rate increase, despite several local governments across Victoria freezing rates amid the global pandemic.

At the time, Southern Grampians Shire chief executive, Michael Tudball said residential ratepayers in the area would likely see a decrease in the cost of their rates this year, however on average, rural property owners would be contributing 10.17 per cent more than the previous year.

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