Home owners, businesses and farmers will face large increases in their property based Fire Services Levy (FSL) as a direct result of the Labor State Budget.
Member for Morwell, Russell Northe said the Andrews Labor Government outlined a huge 7.2 per cent increase in FSL receipts in its recent State Budget.
“This means Latrobe Valley property owners will face large increases in their FSL as a direct result of this decision by the Labor Government to deliver an additional $42.1 million into the funds of the State Government,” Mr Northe said.
“The Labor Government’s proposed 7.2 per cent increase in collections from the FSL is a massive increase compared to the average inflation rate over the past 12 months which was only 1.8 per cent.
“This means land owners will be slugged with a FSL increase which is four times the CPI (Consumer Price Index) or inflation rate.”
Mr Northe said it was hypocritical for the Andrews Labor Government to impose huge increases on property owners through the FSL at the same time they were demanding local councils cap rates at CPI or less.
“Prior to the 2014 State Election, Daniel Andrews and Labor promised there would be no increases in taxes and charges, so this big increase in the FSL being imposed on Victorian families and businesses is another Labor broken promise,” he said.
“The Coalition Government introduced a fair and more equitable FSL system by scrapping the unfair insurance-based levy. This ensured all Victorian property owners paid a fair and reasonable contribution to fund our fire services.
“Across Latrobe Valley the former Coalition Government used the FSL to deliver new tankers and equipment for local brigades. In addition, the former Coalition Government also funded the rebuilding of fire stations Glengarry East, Glengarry, Cowwarr and Morwell.
“Given that the last Coalition CFA budget was $58 million more than Labor in 2010, it is difficult to understand why the new Labor Government is planning to massively increase FSLs for all Victorian property owners.
“This massive increase will hurt struggling household budgets and make it harder for businesses across regional and rural Victoria in these challenging economic times.”
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