Panel to review new rating model in Murray River Council

By Riverine Herald

AN INDEPENDENT review panel will be formed to consider various rates harmonisation models for Murray River Council.

The new rating model, which council has said would come into effect from July 1 this year, will consolidate the separate rating structures of the former Murray Shire and Wakool Shire councils.

While affected councils have been given until June 30, 2020 to bring in their new structures, council has opted to adhere to the original four year timeline set at the time of the merger in 2016.

Council has received information from Morrison Low Consultants on the requirements for harmonisation and various rating structures that could be utilised.

This will now be further analysed by the panel, which will review the rating options and make a recommendation to be tabled at an extraordinary meeting this month.

Murray River Council Mayor Chris Bilkey said this was nothing short of a big job.

‘‘Harmonising rates is a challenging task due to the difference between the rate structures of the two legacy councils, Wakool Shire and Murray Shire,’’ he said.

‘‘The modelling has confirmed that in order to harmonise the overall rates and achieve a simple but fair outcome there are going to be individual ratepayer winners and losers, but our major focus is to make it as equitable as possible.’’

Council’s extraordinary meeting will be held Tuesday, May 19 at 6pm.

The community is encouraged to visit council’s engagement platform, Your Say Murray River, where they can view a presentation on the various modelling scenarios and options.

The community will then also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback on the preferred rating structure following the May meeting.

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