HORSHAM Rural City Council could adopt its new rating strategy at a meeting on Monday night.
The council's draft strategy was released to ratepayers for feedback at its January meeting.
Rates have been a highly contentious issue after the council's rates rose to the capped increase of 2.25 per cent in 2018-19, but a breakdown of the rates meant residential rates decreased by 0.6 per cent, while farm rates increased by 11.8 per cent.
An independent committee of nine ratepayers and two advisers reviewed the council's strategy and made recommendations for the council's consideration.
There were five major changes to the rating strategy, which included a farm rate differential of 67 per cent of the general rate and a commercial and industrial differential of 95 per cent of the general rate.
A flat municipal charge, rebates for pensioners and a differential review trigger were also suggested.
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In a report that will be discussed on Monday, Horsham Rural City Council's corporate services director Graeme Harrison said a total of 35 submissions were received during the public consultation phase.
Of the submissions, 79 per cent supported a decrease in the farm differential, however, 63 per cent did not support a decrease of the commercial and industrial differential.
Meanwhile, 71 per cent did not support a decrease in municipal charge and 67 per cent did not support the additional pensioner rebate.
Mr Harrison said a change in valuations shifted the rate burden in 2018, which was mostly taken on by the farm sector.
He said the proposed rate differentials could counter the impact of the valuation movements, however, the council needs to consider key equity issues.
"The council must first decide in its Rating Policy what is its position around which categories will be considered for a differential and what should be a trigger for review," he said.
"Then the council must decide whether the level of the differentials, municipal charge and any rebates as shown in the Draft Rating Strategy, should be amended."
Horsham Rural City councillors will vote to adopt its rating strategy and policy at its meeting on Monday night.
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