WIMMERA farmers with land across multiple council areas are being charged different rates for similar properties.
Peter Jackman has land in both Horsham Rural City and Northern Grampians.
The land itself is roughly the same. The one in Horsham Rural City has a lot more improvements so the value is quite a bit more per acre, which you'd expect - there's no argument there, he said.
Mr Jackman said the purpose of the 2.25 per cent cap was to level out the inequities in rate rises. But he said the cap was not being used for what it was intended.
Councils can manipulate that so the overall rise is that figure, but different sectors can be way above or below it, he said.
Kewell farmer Bruce Crafter owns land in Horsham Rural City and Yarriambiack Shire. Mr Crafter said rates were traditionally higher in Yarriambiack, but he expects substantially higher rates for his Horsham Rural City land.
Mr Crafter said discrepancies between the two areas has offered him a bargaining chip in the past.
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He said the land was essentially the same and when one side was too high, he was able to talk the councils down.
Regardless, he said he felt like a milking cow because he believed he did not get value from the rates he paid. He said he did not have a problem paying rates, so long as it was fair.
Kewells Peter Crafter also owns land in the Yarriambiack and Horsham Rural City areas.
He said the rate disparity had not prevented him from operating a functional farm. However, he expected rates to be spent in rural areas particularly in the Horsham municipality, where rates were higher. He said both councils offered similar services next to none.