Relief for farmers upon successful amalgamation of vacant farmland properties

The Interim Administrator Viv May has made good his promise to provide an avenue for relief to farmers with multiple vacant farmland properties from paying the new Regional Landfill Levy and Operational Charge on each vacant farmland property.

At the Extraordinary Council Meeting held last Wednesday the administrator added an amendment to the Draft Budget and Operational Plan recommendation to allow for credits to be applied for once owners of multiple farmland properties had applied and received approval from the NSW Valuer General’s Department to amalgamate vacant farmland properties.

Armidale Regional Council Acting General Manager David Kerr said this was a sensible approach to allow farmers to apply now to amalgamate vacant farmland properties, knowing that if approved they would be credited these new waste charges.

“Council has identified approximately 60 farmland ratepayers who could opt to amalgamate vacant farmland properties if they are used as the one holding for pastoral or agricultural purposes,” said Mr Kerr.

“This change could have an impact of about $18k on Council’s annual revenue but would go a long way to providing some financial relief to local farmers as they rebuild and recover after years of battling severe drought conditions.”

Farmland ratepayers who meet the NSW Valuer General’s Criteria to amalgamate vacant properties should download the Amalgamation Request Form available on Council’s website or on the NSW Valuer General’s website. Hard copies of the form are also available at Council’s customer service centres in Armidale and Guyra.

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