Reduction in fire services levy welcomed
26 May 2014
Farmers and businesses across the Euroa electorate are set to benefit from a decrease in the fire services levy rate from July 1.
The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan has welcomed the changes which will further ease cost of living pressures.
“The average business across the Euroa electorate will pay $823 instead of $923 a year,” Ms Ryan said.
“The bill for the average business on an industrial block will decrease from $1689 to $1389, a saving of $300.
“Farmers will pay $402 on average, a huge decrease on the $725 they were paying under the old insurance-based system,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said despite the reduction in rates, this year’s Budget was providing $457 million for the CFA, or $58 million more than when Labor left office.
“The reduction in rates is possible in part because the construction of new homes means more people are contributing to the fire services levy,” Ms Ryan said.
The Nationals, in partnership with the Liberals, changed the way funding for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) was collected in response to recommendations from the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
“The move from a levy on insurance to a property-based levy is a fairer system of funding our fire services because everyone contributes to what is an essential community service,” Ms Ryan said.
“As part of the changes, the unfair tax-on-tax which saw GST charged on the old insurance-based levy was abolished and a $50 concession for pensioners was introduced.
“Having had two very serious bushfires in the past five years, our region understands better than most the importance of adequately funding the CFA.”
Ms Ryan said The Nationals were working to reduce taxes and living costs.
“The change to the fire services levy comes on top of reductions the Victorian Coalition has made in payroll tax, WorkCover premiums as well as stamp duty concessions for first home buyers and assistance for young farmers,” Ms Ryan said.