GLENELG Shire Council is continuing its unusual practice of not imposing a municipal charge in annual rates bills for property owners.
In its draft annual budget for next financial year the option of imposing a municipal charge allowable under the Local Government Act is criticised as a "regressive tax" affecting properties with low valuations. Most pother south-west impose the tax.
Rather than set a charge to cover the administrative costs of collecting and handling rates, Glenelg Shire says those expenses would be covered in general rates revenue, with a proposed increase of four per cent to generate $20.9 million and a waste management fee of $197.
Warrnambool City Council will levy $210 as a municipal charge, Southern Grampians' charge is $155, Corangamite Shire's is $160 and Colac Otway's charge is $147.
Moyne Shire Council will announce its draft budget next week.
Warrnambool City Council said it aimed to distribute rates and charges in an equitable manner.
"WCC, like most councils, has a municipal charge as a means of collecting some of the fixed costs of providing core services to the community," communications manager Kim Sweetnam said.
Glenelg Shire Council will rely on Portland Aluminium's smelter for more than $4.4 million in rates.
The company is the shire's single largest ratepayer, contributing 21.3 per cent of the total rate revenue.
Meanwhile, the council has decided to continue a long-standing exemption for 87 vacant properties in the Henty Bay-Dutton Way area affected by ocean erosion risk.
Estimated capital improved value for the land is $1.5m and the estimated cost of the exemption is about $5000.