News

Bill doesn't rate council and fights to reclaim thousands

RATES FIGHT: Property owner Bill Manning is battling council to claim years of unpaid rates.
RATES FIGHT: Property owner Bill Manning is battling council to claim years of unpaid rates. Alistair Brightman

BILL Manning is attempting to reclaim thousands of dollars in annual rates , with the Urangan man claiming he has been charged unfairly.

Since 2006 the Fraser Coast Regional Council has changed his rates category seven times.

The rates of Mr Manning's property have fluctuated from $2500 to almost $6000 before this financial year's notice of $4618.

With a granny flat on his property, Mr Manning was classed as a dual occupancy in 2006; paying the same rate as some of the Fraser Coast's accommodation providers.

"We were classified the same as Peppers Resort in 15a (rates category)," he said.

"How can you drive down a road with high grass and no sewerage and compare us to Peppers?"

With amalgamation and category changes Mr Manning's home was re-zoned seven different times.

After negotiating with the council, Mr Manning's home is now back in category two residential.

But he wants the council to repay the years he was "unfairly" categorised.

Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond said it was a decision by a council prior to amalgamation to change the rating category for homes with granny flats in 2006/07.

"Hervey Bay City Council introduced a rate category for multiple residential properties which have dual residences," she said.

"Properties that were identified to have multiple residences including granny flats were placed in this category and were rated higher than a single residential property.

"On amalgamation council was required to equalise rating categories which resulted in a change to the category number however this did not change the intention for that category which was for multiple residential properties."

Ms Desmond said Mr Manning had made representations to council in 2014, causing the council to change its policy to allow residential properties with a granny flat to be rated as a single residential home.

"This change in policy was in recognition that many large residential blocks are now accommodating granny flats as a housing choice for grandparents, parents or children to live in," she said.

"When this change was introduced council undertook a review of existing properties."

Topics:  council rates, fraser coast regional council, granny flats, rates, rates notice



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