Central Highlands council approves rate rise of just 1%

Cr Peter Maguire, Mayor of Central Highlands Region mayor. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin ROK300611smayor2
Cr Peter Maguire, Mayor of Central Highlands Region mayor. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin ROK300611smayor2 Sharyn O'Neill

AS the rate-rise boom echoes across Central Queensland, Central Highlands Regional Council is joining the banter after announcing a rates increase of 1%.

The council yesterday approved its 2013/14 budget.

The Mayor said that even though this is less than the real cost of providing local government services, the council took the view when preparing the budget that residents should be protected from large rate rises as much as possible.

"We understand that local people are hurting, and we are doing everything we can to try to help," Cr Maguire said

The exact increase for each ratepayer will vary depending on land valuation.

The Central Highlands Local Government area was subject to a revaluation during the last 12 months and this has seen some changes to valuation.

The council will remove capping for the first time to ensure equitable outcomes for all ratepayers.

Cr Maguire says this may mean that some ratepayers will see a higher increase as they have been kept at an artificially low position in the past.

Every ratepayer with the same land value will now pay the same rate.'

After all valuation adjustments have been accounted for, total net revenue from rates and charges revenue moves from $ 63,496,549 in 2012/13 to $76,580,614.

"The increase is not necessarily reflective of the exact increase in actual income due to a number of one off impacts.

"After allowing for these the total increase in revenue for the 2013/2014 financial year will be just 2.8%.

"These one-off impacts include an increase in the number of rateable properties, and the impact of the non-owner occupier rating category that have both now been factored into this year's budget."

Water access and usage charges have been increased to more accurately reflect the

cost of providing and maintaining the infrastructure associated with water.

In Emerald, water charges will increase by 10%.

In Blackwater and other areas water charges will increase by 3%.

Cr Maguire says this is due to the requirement for an additional water treatment to be constructed, to cope with the increased population and associated demand for water.

Topics:  budget, central highlands regional council, rate rise



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