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Council adopts new rating system

Caloundra City Council last week introduced a new rating methodology that it says is fair to all ratepayers. Council says it ensures that residents will enjoy the same standard of services.

In handing down the Budget last week Mayor Don Aldous said that the final outcome has been to use a model based on a combination of averaging valuations and differential rating.

“The new approach is in response to concerns raised by residents who had faced two years of dramatic increases in their Unimproved Capital Valuation (UCV),” he said. “The issue of inequity in the sharing of the rates burden was the focus of extensive investigation and public consultation throughout the past year.  There is no simple answer and council has done its best to address concerns raised by the community during public debate over this issue.”

Cr Aldous said for over 60% of the city’s ratepayers the new methodology will not have any impact on them, as their property falls within the first band and attracts the lowest minimum rate charge.   “This means that this year these properties will see an increase of only 3.43% on the bottom line rate bill, which is in line with CPI.

“In dollar figures the average rate increase for the majority of properties will be approximately $45 annually which is less than 90c per week.”

Cr Aldous said in relation to other rates and charges, there has been a slight increase in the water access charge from $75 to $78.   “The water usage charge has also been increased from 75c to 78c per kilolitre. In addition, the sewerage charge for connected properties has increased from $361 to $373.20.”   Cr Aldous said cleansing charges for properties with the standard 140 litre wheelie bin for refuse collection have also been increased from $106 to $110.

“The Waste Management Levy has also been increased from $21.50 to $22.50 per annum.   “However there has been no change to the Environment or Rural Fire Levies.” And there’s good news for the city’s pensioners too, with council doubling the 5% pensioner rebate on rates to 10% for all holders of ‘Pensioner Concession Card’.

Cr Aldous said the Tourism Levy will continue on from last year, and it too will be charged against a three year averaged (UCV) figure.  “This year, the 10% discount offered for prompt payment of annual rates has also been extended to include the Tourism Levy.

“With 2002/2003 being the first year the Caloundra Tourism Inc. has been operational, it has been encouraging to see the innovative and dynamic approaches the board has introduced,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing the continued efforts of the board in managing these funds to assist the city in developing a sustainable future for tourism.”

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.