Rates hike like a sledgehammer

CENTRAL Highlands’ rural landholders protesting a 236% increase in council rates will release “pent-up emotions” when they front councillors tomorrow.

The 40 or so affected property owners between Comet and Rolleston, members of the Toprain Progress Association, will meet in Springsure to seek consensus on an action plan.

Association secretary Rex Kirk describes the rise, capped at 30% by the Central Highlands Regional Council, as hitting “like a sledgehammer between the eyes” in a letter to members.

Rates notices show the CHRC rate in the dollar on the unimproved capital value of land jumping from 0.2744000 to 0.6548500 in the old Bauhinia Shire boundaries.

“Our understanding would suggest the capping will expire and we will then be paying the full rates,” said Mr Kirk.

“It appears under the new legislation, regional shire councils now have to move towards a uniform rate in the dollar across the whole of the shire.

“We feel this is clearly unfair, as different areas of the CHRC have vastly different needs and services.

“We want mayor Peter Maguire and councillors to fully explain to assembled ratepayers their reasoning and motivation behind their decisions to progress down the path they have chosen.”



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