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Councillor Antonella Celi 

Seawinds Ward - Mornington Peninsula Shire

My Blog

My Blog

No to increase in vacant land differential rate to 140% - Cr Celi - Amendment Debate -

Posted by antonellaceli on June 25, 2021 at 1:45 AM

Cr Antonella Celi moved an amendment to

refuse the increase to 140% on Vacant Land Differential Rate and keep it at 120%

and refer additional projects to budget mid-year review.

 


AMENDMENT

Moved: Cr Celi

Seconded: Cr Mar

 

1. That the Vacant Residential Differential Rate is not changed and remain at 120% of General Rate in 2021/2022 Annual Budget.

 

2. That the rates in the dollar for each category of land is adjusted to reflect the Vacant Residential Differential rate at 120% of General Rate as per below table which replaces the table under ‘Differential Rate Percentages’.

 

Vote by Division (Requested by Cr Celi)

 

For: Cr O’Connor, Cr Mar and Cr Celi

 

Against: Cr Race, Cr Bissinger, Cr McCafferty, Cr Holland, Cr Marsh, Cr Mercurio, Cr Dixon and Cr Gill

 

Amendment Lost


 

 

3. That the following items be noted and considered for funding at the 2021/2022 Budget mid-year review should Budget surplus be identified:

 

 

  • Racecourse Reserve, Dromana Masterplan – $80,000
  • Rosebud Motorcycle Club toilet – $20,000
  • Collins Road, Dromana widening – $35,000
  • Allocate funds from Cricket Renewal Program to Dromana Cricket Club Cricket Nets.

 

 

Vote by Division (Requested by Cr Celi)

 

For: Cr Race, Cr O’Connor, Cr Mar, Cr McCafferty, Cr Holland, Cr Marsh, Cr Mercurio, Cr Dixon, Cr Celi, Cr Gill and Cr Bissinger

 

Against: Nil

 

Amendment carried

 

 

The Amendment was debated at Item 3.2 Consideration of 2021/2022 Budget Submissions, Adoption of the 2021/2022 Budget and Declaration of the Rates and Charges for 2021/2022. at the Council Meeting on 22nd June, 2021

 

View entire meeting recording here: https://youtu.be/ZAetO2Y2YY4

 

Minutes of Council Meeting 22nd June, 2021 here: https//www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/new-website-documents/about-us/meetings-amp-minutes/2021/minutes-2021/council-meeting-minutes-22-june-2021.pdf

 

Download Shire 2021–22 Budget and view the 2021-2022 Budget S223 Submissions and Replies at this link:

https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Strategies-Plans-Policies/Annual-Report-Budget?BestBetMatch=budget|d13b95b2-5146-4b00-9e3e-a80c73739a64|4f05f368-ecaa-4a93-b749-7ad6c4867c1f|en-AU

 



Full amendment debate here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OpJeFIcW3I


Madam Mayor and Councillors overall I am very happy with the content of the 21/22 budget and I know that we have worked very hard since November to strike a balanced budget with a well considered capital works and priority projects listing, a healthy debt balance with no new borrowings keeping us well within our means and a strong cash flow and liquidity position that will see us deliver to our community within the confines of a finite operations income.


As we all know, the State’s rate cap regime at cpi significantly compromises our income potential and the upward trajectory of the financial long term forecasts which places the Shire and many other Council’s in a position of financial risk if the budget is not handled in a fair, equitable and prudent way… but I believe the 21/22 budget delivers a well balanced, sustainable outcome for the Shire’s and I thank all officers involved in putting the budget together for Council adoption.


Having said all that Madame Mayor, the budget we are considering at this moment is a draft budget and as part of the process it has gone out to community consultation for feedback through a 223 submissions process and hearing where the community puts forward their support or objections to the Budget.


During the 223 submissions we heard from over 31 residents objecting to the 20% increase in the residential vacant land differential rate to 140% .


We also heard submissions to community projects that didn’t make the draft budget cut we’re considering tonight.


Therefore, I seek to move an amendment that the Vacant Residential Differential Rate is not changed and remain at 120% of General Rate in the 2021/22 Annual Budget and


That the rates in the dollar for each category of land is adjusted to reflect the Vacant Residential Differential rate of 120% general rate as per the table 1 in recommendation 9


I also include Pt 3 that the following items be noted and considered for funding at the 21/22 budget mid-year review should budget surplus be identified:


- Racecourse Reserve Dromana Masterplan – $80K

- Rosebud Motorcycle Club Toilet – 20K

- Collins Street widening – 35K

- the music plan and 100K

- Allocate funds from Cricket Renewal Program to Dromana Cricket Club Cricket Nets.


I move this amendment, seek a seconder and I ask the Chair that after debate of the amendment the vote be taken separately on Point 1 & 2 together and Pt 3 separately. Thank you. I seek a seconder.


 

Thank you Madame Mayor, as said previously this budget has gone through a 223 submission consultation and hearing.


As a result we had over 31 submitters object to the 140% increase to the residential vacant land differential rate. The amount of submitters represents 1% of the current 3055 property owners.


In context of properties affected, this is not a small number of objections that deserve consideration by this Council who have put out this thought bubble to increase the rate solely on the presumption and unfounded perception that all these property owners are somehow land banking and have no desire to develop their properties.


 

Well, in fact, the presumption that the land is not being developed is incorrect because the number of vacant land owners has gone down from 3,245 in last year’s budget to 3,055 in this years budget, so that speaks to a shift in vacant residential land.


There is no evidence of land banking and no desire to develop, in fact some can’t event develop because their properties are not consolidated, a planning barrier created by this Shire.


Frankly, what a landowner does with their own private land holdings is their business as this Council has no idea about the individual circumstances of these property owners.


These owners are already paying a 120% rate on their properties and I believe that is fair and just. Landowners shouldn’t be gouged just because Council has the ability to do so.


The 223 submission process truly did test the 140% rate. The submissions from the 31 objectors were the strongest voice to show out, so it is proper that Councillors reconsider their position and drop the 140% back to 120% when adopting the final budget.


Voting for this amendment has no bottom line impact on the budget and no major impact on other properties through their rate in the dollar redistribution. This rate does not bring additional income to the Shire anyway.


Through this amendment I will speak up for the objectors against the rise in the vacant land differential rate and I ask Councillors to strike out the 140% and keep it at 120%.


Also I will briefly touch on Point 3 which is to refer 223 project submissions to be considered at the 21/22 budget mid year review for surplus allocation because they are worthy and tangible projects to keep on the radar and deliver to our community which is what we are elected to do.


 

I commend the amendment.

 


 

Categories: Rates, Fees, Charges, Advocacy - Asking for what we want

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