THE new fire services levy due to take effect in the middle of the year has been branded as unfair by a south-west council leader.
Corangamite mayor and chairman of he Great South Coast group Cr Chris O’Connor said the fire services property levy would unfairly charge farmers for their land assets rather than their farmyard infrastructure.
From July 1 this year, rural properties will have to pay $200 as well as 52 cents on every $1000 of their properties capital improved value (CIV).
Urban properties will pay substantially less with only a $100 payment and 12 cents per $1000 of CIV.
“I think it’s a good system but I think it’s infrastructure that the farmers should be paying the levy on,” Cr O’Connor said.
“I think the levy should be related to the infrastructure that needs to be replaced — not the basic land.
“You don’t insure for dirt.”
Councils will be forced to collect the levy later this year after the state government changes to the levy last year.
The levy has also been criticised for charging on the value of farmland, rather than earnings.