Loss of values for properties close to wind farms could force a rise in rates to maintain Council revenue.
Cr. Malcolm Barlow made this claim in a presentation to last meeting of Upper Lachlan Council.
Cr. Barlow said that recent concerns had been raised, particularly in Victoria, which the loss in values from wind farms would impact on rate-raising capacity for effected rural shires.
In his written presentation, Cr. Barlow presented a series of “models” showing the effect of such devaluations on overall council income.
From this, Cr. Barlow if 40 per cent of properties had their value halved Council would have to increase the ad-valorem rate on all properties from $1.60 per $1,000 of value to $2.10 – an increase of 23.8% on all properties stemming from the decrease in properties near wind farms.
“In Upper Lachlan, the potential 11 wind farms could impact upon the values of several hundred properties, especially in the Gullen Range, representing possibly on 10 per cent of all rural properties,” Mr. Barlow said.
“However, in Upper Lachlan a large proportion of the potentially impacted properties are in the higher value bracket in the well-settled east (eg, Gullen Range, Collector, Crookwell 11 and 111, and Taralga).”
Cr. Barlow added that because of this while a 23.8% rate increase was unlikely, the figure could well be in the order of 10%.
He said the models he presented showed that if a Shire was to maintain its State-determined rates income when some properties are significantly devalued, then all the properties that are not devalued will have to bear an increase in their annual rates bill.
Cr. Barlow said this had occurred in Victoria and in the United Kingdom.
Cr. James Wheelwright commented: “Many things impact on property values. We can’t be making adjustments all the time.”
Mayor Cr. John Shaw: “We have no legislative powers over values.
“We, as a Council, can’t give relief for ratepayers because they are close to a wind farm.”
Cr. Barlow’s presentation was received.
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