Blayney council rates rise rattles farmers

An increase in rates has rattled rural landholders who have already been stung with an extra $20 waste management levy per rates notice.

Neville resident Kim Menzies said the increase of $55 for farmland properties and an increase in the ad valorem rate is too great.

“They’ve put the base rate up on residential properties in Blayney, Carcoar and Millthorpe by $30, but decreases in the ad valorem rate make that an increase of around $12 - $14,” she said.

“For farmers there’s no adjustment to the ad valorem rate to compensate for that increase, in fact its gone up, and we have to pay the full amount.”

Mrs Menzies was still searching for an answer as to why farmers were being slugged an extra $55, whilst residential rates only went up, on average, $14.

“They’ve never explained it,” she said.

“On top of that there’s the $20 waste management levy which at a time when farmers are having to buy in food for stock is unacceptable.”

Councillor David Somervaille said that the total rate increase didn’t exceed the 2.3 per cent cap imposed by the state government.

“Council can’t adjust the ad valorem rate as it’s the result of a mathematical equation,” Cr Somervaille said.

Cr Somervaille said that council was trying to move towards a more equitable base rate structure.

“Ideally the base amount would be the same across the shire and we’d like to move towards that, but we’ve started with them so far apart and so inequitably, that it’s taking some time,” he said. 

Cr Somervaille said that income from the base amounts can’t exceed more that 50 per cent of the total rate take from that category.

“The total yield from the base rate amount in Blayney and Carcoar is 45.28 per cent, 38.42 per cent in Millthorpe and 41.89 per cent in the villages,” he said.

“The total yield from the farmland category was 13.88 per cent.”