Business owners hit by rates hikes of 11 per cent after new valuations

VALUE ADDED: Chris and Dave Gray with their rates notices for their self-storage business. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0818jkrates8
VALUE ADDED: Chris and Dave Gray with their rates notices for their self-storage business. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0818jkrates8

The value of some commercial properties around Orange have risen by 20 per cent in a year – leading to the owners being hit with rates rises of 11 per cent.

Cameron Place Self Storage owner Dave Gray has been hit by a rates rise of $648 this year after his property value increased by $71,400 from 2015 to 2016.

Mr Gray said there was no justification for the increase when the cost of living was down to about two per cent.

“Any common person can’t justify that,” he said.

“If I jacked my prices up by 10 per cent I wouldn’t have a customer left.”

In a letter to the editor of the Central Western Daily he questioned how the rate rise was achieved.

Council spokesman Allan Reeder said most properties would have minimal rate increases in Orange this year.

“Across Orange, around 1000 properties will pay less rates this year compared to last year,” he said.

“About 81% of ratepayers will have an increase of between zero and three per cent.

“If someone’s commercial rates had gone up by 10 or 11 per cent, then their property’s value would have increased by around 20 per cent.”

Mr Reeder said council rates income was levied according to property values.

“[This is] a factor the council doesn’t have any control over.

“From time to time the State Valuer-General  re-assesses property values, and owners have the opportunity to have that figure reviewed.”

Mr Reeder said significant jumps in values were not uncommon.

“New valuations don’t happen every year, so sometimes there is a significant change when it’s been a few years since the last one,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that, when property values go up in Orange, that doesn’t mean the council makes more money overall.

“In fact the state government’s rates cap puts  a 1.5 per cent increase on the total amount of money that can be raised from rates across the whole of Orange,” he said.

He said council had to adjust rates according to values.