Local Government

Local Council rate rises continue to be a significant cost burden for farm businesses and rural families across country Victoria.

The VFF has developed a series of factsheets to assist members in challenging their draft local government budgets as they are released and valuations of land.

Local Governments have commenced releasing draft budgets for the 2016-2017 year and are inviting feedback from the community. This is an important opportunity for you to have your say on where your rates are directed and invested, and what matters to you most.

In this year's budget papers, you will see that councils have been required to comply with the new Fair Go Rates arrangements, which have been implemented by the State Government. It is also a re-valuation year, which will have an impact on your rates as well.

These factsheets has been developed to help members take the situation into their own hands to secure a better deal for themselves, and the broader farm community. It will also assist members in understanding the complexity of the rating system and local council budgeting.

The following factsheets are available:

Differentials [pdf]
Valuation Appeals [pdf]
Common arguments and rebuttals about agricultural land and rates [pdf]
Fair Go Rates System [pdf]
Draft local government budget comparisons 2016-17 farm rates [pdf]
Draft local government budget comparisons 2016-17 residential rates [pdf]


In March 2015, the VFF released the report “Inequities in Rural Rating”, which clearly outlines the unfair rate burden on farmers.

The report used data from 2014-2015 local government budgets, along with data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to determine that farmers are paying a disproportionate amount of rates to local government.

Click to download the report: Inequities in Rural Rating - A Comparison of the Rates in Businesses in Rural and Regional Victoria [pdf]