Hervey Bay man criticises granny flat rates grab
GLENN McNeil is an example of what he labels a rates "money grab".
Mr McNeil is almost finished building a granny flat for his parents at the rear of his house.
He says when he does, his rates will increase from a yearly fee of $2945 to $4497 - unless that is he decides his 91-year-old father and his 84-year-old mother can do without a laundry, a kitchen or a bathroom.
"The (council staffer) advised me if I built the particular building without a kitchen, bathroom or laundry - any one of those - it would not be classified as a secondary dwelling because it's not self-contained and my rates wouldn't change," Mr McNeil said.
"I said, 'So hang on a minute, if I move my parents into a spare bedroom in my own home you wouldn't change my rates?
"If I put additions onto this house... and put my parents in there my rates wouldn't change?
"But if I build what you call a secondary dwelling my rates go up 56%?'
"I said, 'But it's all just in wording' and he said 'Yeah'."
Mr McNeil said his parents have health problems, cannot drive a vehicle and need his assistance to manage their day-to-day lives.
He said his other concern was he would be left paying the increased rates bill once he retires sometime in the next decade and the flat might be unused by then.
Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council was currently preparing the 2013-14 budgets.
"As a part of the budget deliberations we review all services, fees and charges," Cr O'Connell said.
"Council is very conscious of ensuring rates are kept to a minimum while meeting ratepayers expectations and aspirations."