Fears of Wangaratta Council ‘poo tax’ gone following backlash at unfair charges

A $150 “poo tax” for Wangaratta Council officers to check sewerage systems at rural properties has been ruled out after a backlash.

Mayor Ken Clarke said on Friday the council had no power to introduce a new $150 charge for ratepayers.

Rural residents argued with development services director Barry Green at the meeting, saying it was unfair for them to bear the costs of having a council officer attend their property for an inspection.

“At this stage we’re hoping these might just be annual costs for people to report on an inspection of their system, but it will depend on the system,” Mr Green had said at the meeting.

Councillors resolved to defer the plan for two months, but Cr Clarke released a statement on Friday saying there would be no fees.

“The cost for these inspections would be borne by council,” he said.

“In the draft document, it mentions $150 as the approximate cost to council of each inspection and proposes council allocate $15,000 to this in the first year.

“Council will not make any money out of implementing this plan, in fact it will incur costs.”

Wangaratta Council said more information would be given to residents before a final decision is made.