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

Council approves radical rates review: What you need to know

RATES, water and sewerage charges will be combined into one notice and crippling interest fees reduced under a major review of the council's systems.

As part of the initiative, all rate repayments will be billed over three cycles per year and any rate rises will be capped to offset increased State Government land valuations.

Land valuation is the process of determining how much a plot of land is worth, which could lead to an increase in rates depending on where a property is located.

The changes were discussed at a special meeting at the council's Hervey Bay chambers yesterday.

It was decided interest charged on overdue rates would also be decreased and rural ratepayers would be entitled to a 20 per cent discount.

Finance councillor Rolf Light said it was about making the rates system fairer for residents.

He said some residents could see a rate increase due to higher land valuation but the council would make sure no-one was "significantly impacted".

"Further to the package we're announcing, we're going to be capping any increases," Cr Light said.

"We have heard the calls that the Fraser Coast rates are too high and we've been working to streamline our rates."

Cr Light also encouraged residents to question the valuation increase.

"When they receive those valuations, they should use that period of time with the Valuer-General to see if their valuations are justifiable," he said.

"Even though we have a zero rate base increase, valuation can make some impact onto rates.

"With this cap, we will make sure there is no significant impact on ratepayers."

Acting mayor George Seymour said the changes were a milestone in the journey to making the Fraser Coast's rating system "fairer and equitable."



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