How our rates stack up against other councils
AS BUNDABERG homeowners reluctantly opened their rates notices last week, neighbouring council Gladstone was doing a rates comparison.
Their review of local government rates after the 2017-18 budget announcement places Bundaberg as the third highest general rate out of nine regional cities in Queensland.
Gladstone Regional Council chief financial officer Mark Holmes commissioned the yearly rate comparison review between the nine councils to show how his region "stacks up".
He compared Gladstone's rate, water, sewerage and waste charges with other category four and five Queensland councils, including Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast.
Bundaberg's average rate was $2753, about $100 less than Fraser Coast ($2851).
Mackay was the most expensive at $2860.
According to Mr Holmes' analysis, Cairns is the cheapest out of the nine category four and five councils with an average rate of $2472.
Gladstone has an average general rate of $2696, with water usage included taking it to $3036.
When you factor water usage for Bundaberg ratepayers, the amount comes to $2985, which makes it the third cheapest out of the nine regional councils behind only Cairns ($2706) and Rockhampton ($2772).
When Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey announced the 3.45% rate rise in the budget in June, he declared it the lowest since amalgamation in 2008.
Along with the rate rise was a $50 levy. While all other councillors voted for the rise Cr Jason Bartells stood firm on his election promise to keep rates low.
The division 1 representative was the only councillor to vote against the rise.
At the time, Cr Bartells said raising rates this year was not good for the community.
"This year we should have been the ones to show restraint ... we've gone too far," Cr Bartels said.