Rate rise reprieve is taking shape

WANGARATTA homeowners will pay a 3.05 per cent increase in rates in 2016-17 if a review’s draft recommendation is adopted.

Forecasts predict that municipal rates would then increase by 2.85 per cent in 2017-18 and 2.8 per cent in 2018-19.

It would be a breath of fresh air to ratepayers who have to pay a six per cent rate rise this year, the second highest rise in regional Victoria.

But councils would have the chance to apply for a variance to these and future rate caps under special circumstances in the future.

The forecast increases would put more money back in Wangaratta council’s pocket, as it had budgeted for future rate caps at a worst case scenario of 2.5 per cent.

The increased figures were presented in The Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) ‘A blueprint for change’ paper released on Friday.

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