}

We meet first Tuesday of the Month: 7:00pm

Well our illustrious leaders have voted to keep the status quo and allow another 5 years of the Special Rate. While these same illustrious leaders stand on the pavement and watch the exodus from Swan Hill of business, one is left to wonder as to what logic has been applied to this business burden.

Well it will be and has been used for the marketing of the Swan Hill Region. It will be increased at CPI (better than Council Rates) per annum. And for this we have the chance to see Swan Hill grow. Go figure.

Does anyone remember a computer program called SIM City (I know this is probably going to date me)? Well from what I recollect of that SIM, the higher the rates, the less people stay or came to the city. Maybe a simplistic approach, but if Council actually decided to apply the KISS principal to local government, maybe we would have a more vibrant community.

High rates + special rate + fire services levy = a frighteningly high rate notice. Why would any business want to stay here? Why would any business want to come here? Especially given the situation that this Rate is not collected equitably. It doesn’t affect Robinvale (yet Councillor Katis was given a vote). It doesn’t impact businesses run from home.

This Association doesn’t disagree with collecting funds to help promote the region, what we find hard to believe is that they don’t spread the burden over the entire municipality. If you agree with the Special Rate, then do nothing, if like ourselves, you disagree with the way it is run, then tell them NO, and explain to Council that if they want this Rate, perhaps they need to revisit how it’s spent, how it’s collected and who it’s collected from.