Tuesday, November 29, 2022

McLean queries if house values are down in Naracoorte?

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Chris OldfieldNaracoorte Community News

Malcolm McLean wants to know why his council rates have gone down on his house in Naracoorte, but his son’s rates on a Hynam farm “have gone up considerably”.

He queried if house values had dropped in Naracoorte as it “just looks as if the rural ratepayers are subsiding the town ratepayers”.

Mr McLean’s questions came during Naracoorte Lucindale Council’s August 23 meeting.

“It’s nice to be back to see a few familiar faces,” said the former councillor who did not contest the 2018 council election.

“As you know, I live in town. Recently when I received my rate notice I noticed my rates had actually gone down, which is a bit of a surprise.

“My son lives out at a farm at Hynam, his rates have gone up considerably.

“I just wonder. I think everyone realises the valuation of rural properties has gone way up and expected a bit of a rise there.

“But I didn’t think that town properties had devalued – have they gone down?

“Have the town properties decreased in value? Can you explain that?”

Mayor Erika Vickery turned to CEO Trevor Smart and said: “Can I refer that to you?”, further suggesting he could “take the question on notice”.

“Sure!” Mr Smart said, and there was laughter in the chamber.

Then he said to Mr McLean: “Probably a fairly broad explanation; and probably take it on notice and happy to sit down with you on that.”

Despite more than 10 visitors in the chamber, the meeting hushed.

“Look, rating, setting the rates across the district is fairly challenging for council,” Mr Smart said.

“Broadly speaking, we try to do a 60-40 split – 60 per cent of our rates are raised from the rural area and 40 per cent from elsewhere.”

He indicated this year 58 per cent of the council’s rate income was from the rural sector.

He said the council had various rates in the dollar across the district, with one rate for rural, and different rates in the dollar for other areas.

“So, with valuations going up and down, right across the area, but probably in the rural sector it went up,” Mr Smart said.

“There was (sic) a lot more peaks of fairly significant increases.  So it made the rating, um, the council put its rates up on average 2 per cent across the district from what we raised last year to this year.

“So, what we tried to do is tried to get as many of the assessments going up around that two (percent) this year was a fair challenge.

“And rural – there was (sic) quite a few that went up in that 5-10 per cent range, and in the township, there were quite a few that went down – some not a lot, but some a bit more and there was (sic) also some fairly high increases in some of the town allotments.

“So, it’s fairly difficult to flatten that out and that’s one of the challenges that council has when it does its rate modelling because we are restricted under the local government act in what we can do from that perspective.

“Within our budget process here this year, we’ve agreed to look at our rate modelling before the 2023-24 financial year to see whether we can use some different rating tools.

“But happy to have a discussion on your specific rates.”

Mr McLean: “It just looks as if the rural ratepayers are subsiding the town ratepayers.”

Mrs Vickery: “No. It’s not that way.”

Mr Smart said it was probably not the case.

Mr McLean said: “But it tended to look that way”.

Mr Smart: “Yep.”

Mrs Vickery thanked Mr McLean for his question and moved on to the next agenda item.

Naracoorte Community News 21 September 2022

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.

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