Landowner’s rates double in 12 months

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

A recent review of State Government rebates by the City of Albany has led to Redmond resident Jane Orchard’s rates bill doubling in the past 12 months.

City of Albany executive director corporate services Michael Cole said some landowners were being mischarged until this year.

“The City of Albany, along with other local governments, have recently been instructed by the State Government’s Department of Finance to review all rebates that are granted to registered pensioners and seniors,” he said.

“The review has identified that rebates were being applied to the whole of some commercial and farming properties at the full rate instead of a curtilage calculation of 2ha as required.”

Mrs Orchard said she was shocked when she received the rates notice.

“It came as a real surprise to me and my husband — to see your rates go up 100 per cent is just incredible,” she said.

“With all the other increases in cost of living this makes things very hard for us.

“It’s very disappointing that a rate payer is being disadvantaged.”

Despite the increases, Mrs Orchard said upgrades to roads in her area were lacking.

“There have been no upgrades to our roads out here,” she said.

“All they do is come and scrape the top off the road. It’s full of potholes and scraping it doesn’t fix the problem. We live on a school bus route so ideally it should be sealed.

“(Councillor) Alison Goode is trying to help upgrade the roads but she seems to keep coming up against a brick wall.”

Member for Albany Peter Watson said the mistake would affect several pensioners in the region.

“Landowners like Jane have been receiving a discount greater than they were entitled to and the City has now corrected this,” he said. “It will have a direct impact on all pension card holders who live on rural properties and it is disappointing that the City made this error previously.”

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