Rates may rise 30% for some businesses

Tiaro Industrial Complex owner Mel Harris is expecting a huge rates hike.
Tiaro Industrial Complex owner Mel Harris is expecting a huge rates hike. Robyne Cuerel

BUSINESSES may be hit with a 30% rates increase after an audit by the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Following the audit and scrapping of the commercial rural category, businesses outside of the Maryborough and Hervey Bay area are expected to be slugged.

Tiaro businessman Mel Harris is expecting a general rate increase of 30% this year, but is worried it will reach an 80% rise in the next three years.

He also said the forced addition of water connections and wheelie bins meant a huge price hike.

Mr Harris and other business owners may expect more pain in the next few years, with Mayor Gerard O'Connell admitting the costs hadn't yet hit the full amount planned.

Cr O'Connell said any potential rise was "a year-on-year decision" the council would make.

"Rather than rise to the full amount - we took a decision at this particular budget that it would be capped at 30%," he said.

His property spans across four blocks but Mr Harris said the previous agreement with the council was to amalgamate them for rating purposes.

Mr Harris will now pay for several water connections rather than just the one he previously paid.

"$3108 dollars for $9 of water - that's the access charge," he said.

"If your lots are contiguous you should not have to pay more than one water rate."

And for years he's been using one set of wheelie bins and acknowledged it worked quite well.

"Now they want us to have five sets of wheelie bins- we don't need them and we don't want them," he said.

"$1650 a year for nothing.

"Our rates last year were $1400 or something and this year looks like it won't be far under $7000 - water, bins and rates.

"That's ridiculous."

Regardless, Mr Harris can't afford to look three years ahead as he now faces an uncertain future.

"I said to my wife you may have to go back to work, she's 65," he said.

Cr O'Connell said the charges were on a user-pays basis with a charge for annual access and then consumption.

"The State Government insisted we had equalisation in terms of our rating," he said.

He said the changes were part of an audit throughout the Fraser Coast to check properties and their connections.

"Equalisation across the region and a minimisation of the number of categories is key," he said.

Topics:  business fraser coast regional council hervey bay maryborough rates

Have your say on Wednesday market at Pier Park

A vibrant market with over 80 selected stalls NO second hand. Organic veggies, Local fruit, Live Music, Special KIDS ZONE and so much more.

They already operate a Saturday market.

Not too late to host Girls' Night In to defeat cancers

girls night in

There is still time for Queenslanders to host a Cancer Council Girls

Local Partners

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals