Farmers share rate pain
A GROUP of local farmers have voiced their concerns about a significant jump in their rates for the 2018-19 financial year, in spite of the State Government’s rate cap of 2.25%.
A dozen farmers attended a meeting in Digby on Wednesday night to meet with Glenelg Shire councillors and staff, where they called for a fair and equitable rate increase.
The council’s 2018/19 budget was adopted on June 26, with primary production expected to pull in an additional 10.3% compared to the previous year.
The meeting organiser, local primary producer and former Glenelg Shire councillor John Northcott, said it was unfair farmers were slugged with rate hikes, while city dwellings will see an overall 3.7% decrease.
“Farmers make up about 40% of the rate revenue, but they’re not getting their fair share back,” Mr Northcott said.
“My own property has seen a 20% increase in rates since the introduction of rate capping three years ago.
“Something has to change.”
And while farmers are keen to talk about the rate hikes, the Glenelg Shire council refused to comment to the Observer on the farmers’ concerns.
The 2018/19 budget will see a primary producers’ rates increase $696,000 to $7.47 million.