Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers -
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers - Valerie Horton

Rate change not fair or equitable, claims councillor

CONFLICTS over the council's budget have emerged after one councillor voiced concerns over a variance to properties in the Fraser Coast.

Handed down on Wednesday, the budget introduced new rating categories of urban and non-urban properties on the Fraser Coast.

The rates for those categorised as non-urban properties are now set at 80 per cent of the general rate.

 

But councillor Stuart Taylor took issue with the proposal, saying he didn't believe the striking of these rates made it fair.

"If you look at Division 2, the total 2019 valuations is approximately $735 million, of that, the proportion of rates collected is 6.96 per cent of the total," Cr Taylor said.

"Yet comparatively, if you live in Division 9, the total valuation of the properties there is $769 million... yet the residents of that area raise 12.76 per cent of the total net rates and charges.

 

"I appreciate the need for a different approach, and contemplating what services are delivered to other areas... (but) this is a step backwards as to a regional approach."

He one of two councillors in the chamber to vote against the budget that day, the other being councillor Daniel Sanderson.

 

But Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour said the introduction of the variance was one of the key reforms that would help recognise the burdens faced across the region.

"I don't think it's the best way for us to look after the region on a fairness basis, to go by those boundaries drawn in Brisbane by the Electoral Commission," Cr Seymour said.

 

"This is a very effective way of recognising the differences of access to services... (and) this takes away some of the distortion caused by the minimum rate, in terms of valuation."