The Northern Grampians Shire Council has back flipped over farm rates.
Rates for farm land will now increase by 2.25 per cent in the new financial year.
This was announced in the NGSC’s budget adoption meeting on Monday afternoon.
Farm rates were set to increase by 25.5 per cent in the shire, as proposed in the council’s 2018 to 2019 draft budget.
This was going to raise nearly $5.4 million for the council.
To raise the same amount, but on a much lesser amount for farm land, the 2.25 per cent increase will be spread across to all rate payers.
Northern Grampians Shire Council mayor Tony Driscoll said this will even out the massive fluctuation.
“It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s about trying to be fair,” he said.
“We came to this decision after community consultation.”
Cr Driscoll was one of the mayors who attended the Victorian Farmers Federation meeting on Friday night regarding farm rates.
Other community consultation regarding farm rates included submissions to the NGSC about the proposed budget.
“We received 40 to 50 submissions about the proposed budget, we usually only receive two to three. They were responding to the proposed increase in farm rates,” he said.
Farm rates were set to increase due to the increase of value in agricultural land, Cr Driscoll said.
Councils are required to undertake land valuations every two years by law.
Farm rates are expected to increase by a high amount in shire’s across the state due to land valuations.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said Northern Grampians Shire council’s decision was fair.
“They are the first council to have done this for this financial year,” he said.
“It’s a sign of strong leadership.
“The high rates for farmers wasn’t sustainable, we hope other councils follow suit.”