Bill changes could cripple Victoria’s 38 rural councils

ADDITIONAL COSTS: Councils will face higher costs if annual valuations are introduced by State Government - currently properties are valued bi-annually.

VICTORIA’S 38 small rural councils will suffer a significant financial blow if the State Government goes ahead with changes proposed in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill this week, according to Rural Councils Victoria (RCV).

Part 9 of the Bill proposes changes to the Valuation of Land Act 1960 that would see land valuations for rating and tax purposes undertaken annually.

The peak body representing Victoria’s 38 rural councils said the switch to annual valuations could further cripple the financial sustainability of Victoria’s small rural councils.

Victoria’s 38 rural councils make up 79 per cent of Victoria’s land area and are already facing cost pressures to deliver essential services and facilities to their communities.

RCV’s chair Rob Gersch said rural councils can’t absorb the costs associated with annual property valuations.

For Mansfield Shire the cost of each valuation is around $120,000 which at present occurs every second year.

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