City reviews rating strategy

The City of Greater Bendigo has released a draft Revenue and Rating Plan, a new requirement under the Local Government Act, which outlines how revenue is calculated and collected. 

The City’s total revenue for 2021/2022 is expected to be $223M, made up of rates and charges (63 per cent), user fees and charges (16 per cent) and government grants (19 per cent). 

The following key changes are proposed for the 2021/2022 year:

  • Increase the vacant land differential rate from 125% to 200% of the general rate
  • Decrease the farm land differential rate from 85% to 75% of the general rate

Council has five other active differential rates that are proposed to remain the same as previous years:

  • General: 100 percent
  • Commercial/Industrial A: 185 per cent of the general rate
  • Commercial/Industrial B: 180 per cent of the general rate
  • Commercial/Industrial C: 190 per cent of the general rate
  • Cultural and recreational: 0 per cent of the residential rate

Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the proposed changes were intended to encourage developers to build houses on vacant land.  

“One of Council’s roles is to ensure an adequate supply of zoned and appropriately located land for housing, but once purchased we have little control over how quickly that land is developed,” Cr Alden said. 

“This change is to discourage land banking and ensure houses are built in a timely manner to meet a growing need for housing. This need has also increased in recent months as people look to build and move to Greater Bendigo following the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional vacant land that is brought to market can also assist with maintaining affordable house prices. 

“The change to the farming rate is in recognition of the fact that the valuations of farming properties are increasing in our municipality due to mining activity and strategic land purchases, this is not necessarily reflective of farming businesses greater capacity to pay.” 

To view the draft plan and provide feedback, go to www.letstalkgreaterbendigo.com.au/revenue-and-rating-plan-2021-2025

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