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Real estate in the City of Knox set for rates change

By Belinda McGuire

Owners of real estate in the city of Knox may be interested to hear that the state government is seeking feedback regarding rate increases.

Local government minister Jeanette Powell launched the Draft Guidelines to Differential Rates, which outline what charges councils can apply for different properties.

For example, councils may charge higher rates to those who own vacant lots of land as a means of encouraging them to develop the property.

Ms Powell said that existing legislation does not provide a uniform approach to such issues.

She explained: "Unfortunately, the Local Government Act 1989 provides insufficient guidance for councils in the use of differential rates, which has resulted in great complexity and inconsistency in levying rates across Victoria.

"While some councils charge no differential rates, others have at least ten different rating categories."

The minister continued by saying that councils are using the lack of guidelines to implement their own policies, which reflect social policy agendas.

She added that the aim is for consistency and simplicity to ensure that all councils charge rates based on the type of property and not on what owners do with their property.

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