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Bundaberg
Friday, July 3, 2020
Home Council Budget No increase in rates for most ratepayers

No increase in rates for most ratepayers

Cr Steve Cooper
Finance portfolio spokesman Cr Steve Cooper is happy the overwhelming majority of Bundaberg Regional Council ratepayers will see no increase in their rates for 2020-21.

The overwhelming majority of Bundaberg Regional Council ratepayers will see no increase in their rates for 2020-21.

Finance portfolio spokesman Steve Cooper said councillors had adopted a “responsible budget for difficult times” which includes no rise in general rates before adjustments to offset the removal of the early payment discount.

Cr Cooper said the rate in the dollar would reduce by the amount previously provided through the early-payment discount (9.135 per cent).

“For the vast majority of ratepayers there won’t be a rate increase,” he said.

“Some 42,037 ratepayers will see no change or a reduction in the general rate.

“There’s also zero increase in water access and consumption charges.”

Cr Cooper said Council recognised that many ratepayers had been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown, especially small business operators and landlords.

“Council has adopted a responsible budget for difficult times which provides relief and stimulus while maintaining service levels and investing in community infrastructure,” he said.

“The pensioner discount remains at $165, which benefits 10,166 ratepayers at a cost of $1.7 million.

“Fee increases in this budget have been kept at the minimum level to cover the cost of providing services.”

There’s a two per cent increase for waste collection charges ($7) and a 2.5 per cent increase for sewerage connections ($19 per pedestal).

“We’ve removed the early-payment discount, which was $112 for the average residential ratepayer,” Cr Cooper said.

“This discount applied if payment was made within 35 days of the rate notices being issued.

“Councillors felt it was inequitable because people who couldn’t afford to pay were missing out.

“Also, pensioners were receiving less discount as the Council pension rebate was deducted from the general rate before the discount was applied.”

Cr Cooper said the due date for rates would be within 35 days of notices being issued.

“As a pandemic relief measure, Council has extended the period before interest penalties apply until 1 January 2021, effectively giving people four months to pay,” he said.

“Those who can’t pay by the due date should contact Council to enter into a payment arrangement.

“If the arrangement to pay is completed by 31 December 2020 no penalty interest changes will apply.”

Cr Cooper said the Budget forecasts a 3.08 per cent increase in total rate revenue, mostly in the agricultural sector because of higher valuations.

Earlier this year, Valuer-General Neil Bray said the overall rural land value had increased significantly since the last valuation due to a strong demand for both small and larger size farming properties. Mr Bray said the ongoing demand for horticultural land suitable for small crops and tree crops was a significant factor in the local market.

Of the 1797 farming properties, only about 50 made objections to the Valuer-General.

Full Council Budget coverage

8 COMMENTS

8 COMMENTS

  1. Am I correct in stating that Mr Dempsey said he would abolish paying to dump green waste if he was returned in the recent local govt elections? Has this happened ?

  2. Am I reading this correctly? There will be no rate increase, however if I pay by the due date I will pay about 10% more than I did last year as there is no discount for early payment?

  3. Pretty disappointed as the councillors must think we are all stupid and can't work out that we are paying more by not having the early pay discount. Wonder if they dropped the $50.00 Community and Enviroment Charge they slipped in a couple of years ago, then tried to say they hadn't increased the rates too much.

  4. Yes I also am waiting for this election promise to be delivered. I recently had green waste removed at a cost of plant hire and transportation of $479.00 yet the council green waste levy was $672.00. which is rather lop sided when you consider this green waste was then on sold.I also find it interesting that prior to Greensils Farming announcing they would receive Green Waste at no charge, there had been NO announcement from Council

  5. No rate rise used pay rates 3 months early to get a discount now still pay early no discount very sneaky about $200 plus a year rise

  6. So for all the ratepayers who paid their rates by due date, are to now have no discount. I guess we can all take our time making payment as we see fit. I shall leave my money in the bank a little longer.

  7. It’s correct that Council has removed the early-payment discount, which was $112 for the average residential ratepayer. However, the general rate has reduced by more than the value of the early payment discount.

    This discount previously applied if payment was made within 35 days of the rate notices being issued.

    Councillors felt it was inequitable because people who couldn’t afford to pay by the date were missing out. Also, pensioners were receiving less discount as the Council pension rebate was deducted from the general rate before the discount was applied.

    In the 2020-21 Budget, Council has reduced the rate in the dollar across every category. For the average urban residential ratepayer, general rates will reduce this year from $1504 to $1372. For rural residential, the reduction is from $1420 to $1296.

    For the average residential ratepayer, who previously claimed the early payment discount, their general rate amount would still reduce for 2020-21.

    As a pandemic relief measure, Council has extended the period before interest penalties apply until 1 January 2021, effectively giving four months to pay. Those who can’t pay by the due date should contact Council to enter into a payment arrangement as soon as possible after receiving the rate notice.

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