City of Busselton council to vote on changes to allow more holiday homes

Holiday homes in the region could receive a rate rise to make it a level playing field with other accommodation providers in the region.

Image by Pixabay.

Image by Pixabay.

In the City of Busselton’s 2018/19 budget, it is expected that councillors will vote on increasing rates for holiday homes which could be subject to a 10 per cent differential rating applied to tourist zones.

If the change goes ahead, it is expected that the minimum increase would be $122.70 per holiday home with the maximum increase being $304.40.

The city expects that it would receive an additional $120,000 in rates income from the increase.

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said the council was expected to consider this in the developing budget.

The change comes about after accommodation providers in the region raised concerns that removing area restrictions for holiday homes would create an unfair playing field.

Other accommodation providers are subject to the 10 per cent differential rate which is used to fund marketing that promotes demand.

Accommodation providers “expressed opionion” to city officers that holiday homes were being given a “free ride” and should also be contributing to the marketing they benefit from.

Tonight councillors will vote on removing area restrictions which would allow people to use their properties as a holiday home in places like Yalyalup or Vasse.

The policy currently restricts holiday homes in certain locations within residential areas which are more distant from the coast and tourist places.

After receiving a number of applications for holiday homes in those areas city officers have recommended removing the restrictions.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive officer Claire Savage said they supported a level playing field for all accommodation providers.

Ms Savage said while holiday homes were an important part of the visitor experience providers should be subject to the same rates and regulations as all other short-stay accommodation.