Backlash at commercial rating proposal

Eve Lamb

A proposal to increase rates for commercial properties in Mount Alexander is drawing outcry from local business groups and operators who say the mooted rating strategy change will drive some businesses to the wall.
A consultants’ report has recommended that the council’s commercial rate be increased from its current 130 per cent (of the base residential rate) to 140 per cent in 2022/23 and to 150 per cent in 2023/24.
The proposal has drawn a strong response from local business representatives including Business Mount Alexander and Maldon Inc both of whom believe the proposal will harm local business.
“For all the small towns it will kill us,” Maldon Inc president Kate Gamble told the Mail this week.
“This is the way to go if you want to kill off small business in Maldon.
“A number of people I’ve spoken to have been in tears.
“I really do think that council needs to assess the aims they are trying to achieve.”
Ms Gamble says Maldon Inc will be making a submission to the rating strategy review for which the timeframe for public submissions closes at the end of business today.
Business Mount Alexander treasurer Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns says the local business representative group is likewise lodging a submission in response to the proposed change to the way in which rates are calculated for commercial properties in the shire.
“It will drive people out of business,” said Ms Brodie-Hanns who also owns and runs Castlemaine’s Shedshaker Brewing.
“They are already stressed and doing it hard. Read the full story in today’s Mail…

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.