THE proposed removal of a land management rebate in Strathbogie Shire could see farmers hit with rate increases of more than 65 per cent.
All property owners in the shire are bracing for a projected 45 per cent rate increase during the next three years, but the proposed phasing out of the rebate scheme will slap farmers with additional rises.
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Nagambie farmer Peter Robinson said he anticipated his rate assessment would increase by at least $1800 this year and would increase by 67 per cent by 2012-13.
Strathbogie Shire Council has proposed the council rate increase and the rebate removal to cope with poor infrastructure and a lack of State and Federal Government funding.
"There is a feeling among quite a few landholders that ultimately we can't survive as a small shire," Mr Robinson said.
"We think it's inevitable that even if there is a cash injection and a bit of catch up on capital works programs we will still be faced with the same problems down the track."
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Howard Myers said the council had proposed to remove the rebate because of the large administration cost and had planned to spend the additional money on fixing rural roads.
Mr Myers said the council "might investigate" implementing a farm rate differential in place of the land rebate scheme.