Gippslanders slugged by Labor fire levy rate increase
Home owners, businesses and farmers will face large increases in their property based Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) as a direct result of the Melbourne Labor Government’s first State Budget.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said Melbourne Labor had outlined a huge 7.2 per cent increase in revenue from the FSPL, which part funds Victoria’s fire services.
“Labor has recently released the rates that will apply to different property classifications to raise this extra money and the figures are alarming. The residential rate per $1000 of capital improved value for properties in the CFA zone has risen 32 per cent, while commercial, industrial and primary producer rates have all increased by 12 per cent.
“This from a government that claimed there would be no increase in taxes, fees or charges.
Mr O’Brien said this increase was being used by Melbourne Labor to fund an additional 450 paid fire fighters, which will be mostly in metro areas, with rural Victorians asked to carry the bill.
“These increases will hit household budgets and make it harder for small businesses and farmers across Gippsland in these challenging economic times.
“In one breath we have Melbourne Labor calling on local councils to cap rates at CPI and then in another they raise the FSPL by 7.2 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The government should be imposing the same financial rigour on itself as it is on local government.”
Mr O’Brien said under the former Coalition Government, the FSPL had been increased at rates below CPI, while budget increases had been delivered to both the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
"The Nationals in Government worked hard to ensure Victorians had a fairer, more equitable Fire Services Property Levy. Our reforms saw the cost to farmers drop by around $300 a year.
“In addition we funded the rebuild of a number of local fire stations including Rosedale, Kongwak, Nambrok, Binginwarri and Wurruk,” Mr O’Brien said.