Rates inequity a nasty surprise.

August 30th, 2012

I understand only too well the difficulty that Council has in raising enough funds via rates, to properly fund all the work it is asked to do as well as all the bureacratic work it simply has to do courtesy of higher levels of Government. During my time at Council there was a push to charge business higher rates. I always argued against this as I understand that Fraser Coast businesses do it tough and don’t have any more capacity to pay rates than ordinary householders do. But to impose a rate rise on investment properties is wrong. My daughter had to move to Brisbane to work and rents out her Scarness unit. Why on earth should she be punished for not living in her property? We have recently sold our Eli Waters investment property and this rate rise does not entice us to invest in more local property in the future. This is a discriminatory imposition similar to the unfair valuation based rating system that sees similar properties on either side of a street being rated differently to each other.. Rates need to be as fair as possible with equal charges for equal access to Council services.

3 Responses to “Rates inequity a nasty surprise.”

  1. Colin Burton 30 Aug 2012 at 7:24 am

    Inequities in rating start with “unimproved land value ‘ being the basis upon which rates are levied. A run down near derelict 100 year old timber cottage owned and occupied by a pensioner couple adjoining a McMansion built on an identical block is charged the same rates. The wealthy owner of the latter with a large family benefiting from all that Council pays for is charged bo more than the next door neighbours. The land under each is identical. Most enlightened councils use a mix of improved and unimproved valuations . The Queensland Valuer General staff can no be bothered to do the extra work required. Land values can be raised in an office without a physical visit to the area.

    Similarly with water and sewerage rating. A huge part of this is the standing charges which are paid before you turn a tap or flush a toilet. There is no incentive whatever to conserve water. If you divide the total annual rate by the number of kilolitres used a truly startling price per kilolitre results. Yet each extra litre used costs a tiny fragment of this. The excuse is that the money is needed to provide additional infrastructure. Which equitably should be borne by developers and the purchasers of their developments , not existing ratepayers. Maintenance by the ratepayers yes, new works no. But again that would require work and effort and it is easier just to throw the burden on all of us.

  2. John A Neveon 30 Aug 2012 at 9:23 am

    Actions such as this only show the duplicity of our new mayor.
    As has been mentioned else where, land values have declined of late, this should have been addressed with a plateauing at least or a drop in rates.

  3. Sue Brookson 30 Aug 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Unimproved value is just that the land value minus improvements such as houses etc. but what I find abhorrent is that a beachfront block is valued considerably more than the block on the other side of the road and rated by Council accordingly. Why on earth should people on one side of a road pay more than people on the other when they have access to identical Council services! While we like to assume that we are taxing the wealthy by using such unfair systems in reality we are forcing some people out of their properties that they have lived in for the majority of their lives but can no longer afford to keep! Taxing the wealthy is also fraught with danger when rates systems have absolutely no idea about property owners incomes! Thise that are wealthy today may not be wealthy tomorrow and vice a versa.

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