The Victorian Government has announced it will put the state’s local government rating system ‘under the microscope’ in a new review, pledging to ensure that Councils are held accountable to ratepayers.
Releasing the timeframes and terms of reference for the review, State Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek, said the review would ensure an ‘equitable and effective’ ratings system.
“The system we have now is complex and in need of review – we need a contemporary rating system that gives people a fair deal, Mr Somyurek said.
The review will be undertaken by an independent panel led by former Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Children's Hospital and City of Melbourne, Dr Kathy Alexander.
The panel will investigate:
current local government rates and charges;
current rating exemptions and concessions and their application to various classes of land, including farm land;
the autonomy of local governments to apply a rating system that takes into account local factors;
current exemptions and discounts for local government rates;
the impacts any recommended changes would have on councils, ratepayers and residents.
The panel will deliver their final recommendations in March 2020.