Audit brings rates pain

Trevor Collins at the dairy that was built on his Neerim Junction property 47 years ago but which Baw Baw Council has just been discovered rating purposes, a claim that has stunned and angered Mr Collins whose supplementary rate for this year has jumped more than 25 per cent.

Trevor Collins at the dairy that was built on his Neerim Junction property 47 years ago but which Baw Baw Council has just been discovered rating purposes, a claim that has stunned and angered Mr Collins whose supplementary rate for this year has jumped more than 25 per cent.

Supplementary valuations of an apparent large number of predominantly rural properties in Baw Baw Shire, and issuing of higher supplementary rate notices for the year, have rocked some property owners.

Usually supplementary valuations are undertaken between statutory biennial shire revaluations when there have been major changes to properties, such as completion of new houses on previously vacant blocks or new commercial, retail or industrial buildings.

Council has said the process is about “fixing past errors.”

But several people that have contacted The Gazette are ropeable at amended higher rate notices without any changes to their properties.

Among them is Trevor Collins of Neerim Junction whose 230-acre farm property has jumped $227,000, or more than 25 per cent, in its Capital Improved Value as a result of the supplementary valuation.

That has seen his rates for the current financial year skyrocket from $5380, as per his initial rate notice, to the amended $6889.

The reason given is that a dairy on the farm was not included on council records and the higher CIV is because of it now being “discovered”.

Mr Collins’ reaction to that explanation is a mix between being incredulous and angry.

“The dairy has been there 47 years,” he says, and the only changes have been in upgrading milking equipment.

“It was always part of the property valuation”.


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