REVEALED: Councillor’s push for new rates strategy
IT'S the number one issue residents raise with councillors - "why are my rates so high?"
Now, a newly elected councillor is on a mission to make the council hierarchy better explain why the council collects the amounts it does and what happens with the money once it's paid.
Councillor David Lee put forward a motion at this week's meeting in Maryborough where he called for the development of a "rates communication strategy".
He wants to see communication plans which better articulate how the rates are calculated, how they compare to other councils in Queensland and what services are provided.
This he said, was particularly important amid growing population and infrastructure pressures and when many were struggling to pay their rates.
He also said it was important information for investors and small business owners.
"Rates are our principal source of income," he said
"It's vital we develop a formal strategy to engage our community … so ratepayers can see per dollar of rates how their rates are invested."
Cr Jade Wellings, who was also newly elected to the council in March, seconded the motion and said she was for anything which meant better communication.
She said she only recently spent some time on the phone to a man who was upset about his rates and wasn't satisfied with references to capital works on parks etc as he didn't use parks and couldn't see how this benefited him.
She said there was also a "common misconception we have the most expensive rates in Queensland" but that councillors had been shown data that "doesn't support that" and she would like to see that kind of information shared with the public.
The motion was carried unanimously.