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MEDIA RELEASE - Have your say on Council's Rating and Revenue Plan

6 April 2021

Glenelg Shire residents are invited to have their say on how revenues are calculated and collected with the release of a draft financial strategy.

Council’s draft Revenue and Rating Plan is now open for public feedback. The four-year plan outlines how Council will generate income and deliver on the Council Plan, programs, services and capital works commitments.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the plan was an important part of Council’s integrated planning framework.

“Council provides a number of services and facilities to our local community, and in doing so, must collect revenue to cover the cost of providing these services and facilities,” she said.

“The purpose of this plan is for Council to consider how the rate burden can be most equitably distributed. Rates are the most significant source of revenue for Council – in fact 50.74 per cent of our total revenue is collected from property rates.”

Cr Rank said the plan also helps to dispel several myths.

“In our frequently asked questions section, we have clarified a number of common myths to help the community understand the rating and revenue process,” she said.

“For example, it is a common misconception that valuation of properties is decided by Councils – this is not true. The annual valuation process is undertaken independently of Council and is managed by the Victorian Valuer-General.

“Another misconception is that an increase in valuations results in a windfall for Council, again not true. Under the current rate cap environment Council can only receive a total of 1.5% more in rates than it did in the current year.”

The plan has been informed by the recommendations from the recently released Victorian State Government Local Government Rating System Review.

A key finding of the review was that Council rates are considered under the ‘wealth tax’ principle, which implies that the rates paid are dependent upon the value of a ratepayer’s real property, and have no correlation to the individual ratepayer’s use of services.

The review also emphasises the public benefit test be applied to any rebates offered.

Building on the findings of the Government Review, the draft plan recommends the following key points:
• Council will continue with a uniform rate applied to all classes of property;
• There will be no municipal charge applied as done in many other Local Government municipalities;
• Rates, fees and charges will only increase by 1.5 per cent in accordance with rate capping obligations;
• Rebates, in the form of a discount currently applied to primary producers will reduce to 10 per cent over the term of the plan;
• Council will continue to be pro-active in attraction of Government grants.

Cr Rank reminded property owners that there were payment options available.

“If you do have any concerns or issues with your rates, please discuss this with Council. We have a hardship policy in place to assist those experiencing financial difficulties.”

To learn more about the draft Revenue and Rating Plan, or to provide feedback, visit the YourSay Glenelg website or collect a hard copy from any of Council’s Customer Service Centres.

Feedback closes 5pm, 7 May 2021.

Drop-in sessions will also be held from Monday 12 April at the following locations:
• Casterton
Monday 12 April
1:30 – 3:30pm
Casterton Kelpie Centre

• Heywood
Monday 12 April
9:30 – 11:30am
Heywood Council Offices

• Portland
Thursday 15 April
2:00 – 4:00pm
Portland Council Offices

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