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LETTER: Ongoing rates mess

The residential sector is nearly paying the highest rates in the state.  

The reason they are not paying the highest is because in 2018, Horsham Rural City Council transferred $500,000 in rates off residential and onto farmers.  

It did not come off. We paid that $500,000 again in 2019, 2020 and 2021.  

Council thought it had got away with this, then added $500,000 in 2021 making the farm subsidy to the residential sector $1-million plus. That $1-million subsidy is still in this year’s budget, meaning the first $1-million of farm rates goes to reduce the residential rates.  

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I take exception to one councillor saying the differential should not be decreased, allowing the residential sector subsidy to increase, and farmers should not have the six cups of coffee either.

Farmers, raise your concerns about the wages level of $20-million-plus out of a rates and municipal charges budget of $25 million.  Plus the council is $19-million in debt with another $3 to $4-million in borrowings for the city to river project with no provision of paying any of this back.  

Past local government ministers would have declared them insolvent and put them into administration.

The roads are in a deplorable state so farmers, have a look at where our roads money is allocated: $1-million for the Hamilton Street footbridge; $1-million to co-fund the city oval events stage; $380,000 to remove the fully operational drought-proof tanks; and $360,000 to move the caravan park residents for the river cafe site. 

No wonder our roads are a mess. 

Neville McIntyre, 

McKenzie Creek

The entire June 15, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!