EXPLAINED: How your council rates are set
AS RATES notices arrive in letterboxes, residents may be wondering - how did they land on that?
The council included a $100 rates rebate in the 2020/21 budget as a coronavirus relief measure and froze the minimum rate, and the rate in the dollar.
This all led to an assurance "three quarters of Fraser Coast ratepayers will pay the same general rates as last year or less".
All the same, a council spokesman confirmed the council would collect about $2.6 million more in general rates revenue this year - about 3.5 per cent more than last year.
"The increased general rates revenue is due to the council collecting rates from more properties and higher State Government land valuations," he said.
Some residents will unavoidably pay more in rates this year and the council spokesman provided a breakdown of how the general rates amount was reached.
"Through its budget deliberations each year, the council determines how much it will need to provide services and infrastructure to the community," he said.
"The council's current rates structure is a result of the recommendations made by the Rating Reference Group.
"This group was made up of members of the community who were active in making recommendations to the council from 2016 to 2018."
State Government land valuations, which went up throughout the Fraser Coast this year, form part of the method for charging general rates, the spokesman said.
Queensland's Valuer-General Neil Bray said the valuations reflected land values on October 1, 2019 and showed the Fraser Coast had increased by 6.9 per cent overall since the last valuation in 2018.
"Residential, commercial and industrial values in Maryborough and most hinterland centres have generally remained static," Mr Bray said.
"The median residential value has had a minor increase to $136,000 reflecting the rising land values in some areas of Hervey Bay and in the smaller coastal centres.
"Median values in most coastal centres have increased with Toogoom having a minor rise to $129,000 while Burrum Heads has had a moderate increase to $139,000."
The council spokesman said land valuations were used to "help calculate how to distribute that proportionally among ratepayers - the rates notice."
The council spokesman said councillors did not have the power to challenge State Government land valuations.
"While councillors receive a briefing from the State Government when valuations are finalised, the valuations are set by the Valuer-General, not the council, and are based on property sales data," he said.
"Only landowners can challenge or object to a valuation."
Landowners were able to lodge an objection to their land valuation by May 5, 2020.
The council's budget was handed down on June 23, with a $7 million deficit forecast.