City moves to cushion valuation shock
The City of Greater Geraldton says it has found a way to cushion ratepayers from the financial impact of the latest valuations increases.
The Valuer-General’s office shocked City staff when it released the new valuations last week.
These include six localities where valuations increased by between 25 and 28 per cent.
Ratepayers in these localities would face huge increases when the City’s proposed 3.9 per cent rates hike was applied to their properties because of the valuation increase, and there would be adverse impacts in many other localities.
However, City chief executive Ken Diehm said there was provision in the Local Government Act to phase in the increased valuations over three years.
“This means ratepayers will not be hit with significant increases as a result of their valuation and will have their increases averaged out over three years.”
Mr Diehm said urgent talks with the Department of Local Government had uncovered the averaging-out mechanism which had not been used in Western Australia for 20 years.
“This is a landmark change in methodology which I expect will be closely followed by other local governments in the State,” he said.
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