BENDIGO'S council could raise millions more dollars from general ratepayers even as it loses a fortune from commercial property owners next financial year.
Draft budget documents reveal a quirk in land valuations that could lose the council $2.6 million worth of rates income from commercial properties across the municipality.
The documents were released for public consultation on Wednesday night.
Ordinary ratepayers would pay an extra $5.78 million overall, which would offset any potential council losses.
Farmers would stump up another $186,000 under the draft budget, and people sitting on vacant land would pay $571,000 more.
Rates make up about 61 per cent of the council's revenue.
Council chief executive Craig Niemann said the changes could be traced back to the state's valuer-general.
They tracked the value of residential land and found it had swelled by $9.3 billion, according to the data Mr Niemann's team used to make rate decisions.
But commercial properties had a minimal change over the same period, helping to trigger the drop.
The results could underscore some of the challenges for residents as more people escape a lockdown-ravaged Melbourne for regional Victoria.
Earlier this week, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria revealed some suburb's housing values had double-digit growth last quarter.
Growth-suburb Junortoun's house values leapt 23 per cent, but more established areas like White Hills and Long Gully registered a 20 per cent and 11 per cent rise, respectively.
Overall, Greater Bendigo's median house price rose $650,000, or 2.4 per cent, last quarter.
Mr Niemann stressed that those sorts of rises would not necessarily mean higher rates - not least because the state government had imposed a 1.75 per cent cap on councils' average rate rises for 2022/23.
As good as that might sound to ratepayers, the cap could cause problems for a council paying for community projects and builds in a rapidly growing city.
The rates cap and surging inflation will likely constrain the council's spending next financial year, Mr Niemann and mayor Andrea Metcalf said in a forward to the budget document.
At least the council will reap the benefits of more people building their own homes across the municipality.
Budget papers suggest the council will be able to charge rates on another 982 properties next financial year.
It will be able to charge an extra 14 groups with commercial or industrial rates.
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