Finance Portfolio Chair, Councillor Anthony Aitken
The long-term rating strategy has been focused on maintaining a relatively low residential rate in Geelong, which will support more than 116,000 property owners in 2021-22.
On the back of extensive COVID-19 support packages for the business sector, we are proposing to provide further assistance through the 2021-22 Budget to commercial ratepayers. The average commercial rate payable is proposed to be held at the 2020-21 levels of $5,485.11. This will see the commercial sector contribute 15.5 per cent of the overall general rate revenue in 2021-22, compared to 16 per cent in 2020-21. This is part of a general rates rise of 1.5 per cent in 2021-22, which is our lowest average rate increase in history.
The rates and charges for individual properties will differ, depending on whether the value of the property moved higher or lower relative to the average movement in the municipality. While our average commercial rate is above the Victorian average, it is below a number of other municipalities, including our neighbour Wyndham and close regional city, Ballarat. The Council has listened to commercial ratepayers and has started discussions to reduce the relative difference between Industrial, Commercial and Residential properties over the long term.