Strathbogie Shire Council

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Rates Holiday promises growth in the Strathbogie Shire

Thursday, 6 July, 2017

As part of the brand new Council Plan and Budget, Strathbogie Shire has introduced a Rates Holiday for first home buyers for the first two years, which will provide an enticing incentive to purchase in the area.

Strathbogie Shire is large in size, but only holds just over 10,000 residents, which makes resource allocation and funding of projects challenging.

The Rates Holiday provides first home buyers who are eligible for the State Government's First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) of $20,000 with a further saving, waiving the general rate and municipal charge for the first two years.

Nathan Harper, owner and operator of Harper Builders in Euroa, believes there is good incentive to build in the Shire at present.

"Given the State FHOG has been bumped up to $20,000 and there is now a full exemption from stamp duty, the Rates Holiday is a great sweetener to encourage people to build in our region," he said.

Having just finished building his brand new family home, Nathan can appreciate that building is a huge financial commitment.

"Building is a huge step in your life and a big investment, particularly when you're starting out.

"The FHOG, combined with the knowledge that you're free from the rates burden for the first two years, removes some of that pressure."

Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said she was excited about the initiative and believes it is a win-win for both newcomers and current residents alike.

"The Rates Holiday is an exciting initiative that gives first home buyers the opportunity to purchase an affordable home free from rates for the first two years and just an hour and a half from Melbourne," she said.

"For our current residents, this initiative encourages population growth which will ultimately distribute the rates burden. Attracting new residents will drive new enterprise and economic growth, which will be beneficial for everyone in the Shire."

Eligibility for the rates holiday is detemined by proof of approval for the FHOG, which is generally granted for a newly built home sold for the first time, a house and land package, or a vacant block on which a new house is to be built.

The Rates Holiday doesn't excuse the first home buyer from waste, tree and fire service charges, however.

"We are the ony Shire in Victoria taking such an innovative approach to growth and we believe it is a step in the right direction towards building flourishing communities," Cr McClaren said.


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