Making a fair go on rates a reality

First a bit of history on rates in the Moreton Bay Region. During the almost past 12 years of this Council, rates have increased beyond CPI sometimes almost even double it.

At the last election candidates promised a brighter future but just delivered more of the same.

They promised to cap rates to CPI and broke that promise increasing rates by more and more each and every time.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council has the power to levy rates and charges under the Local Government Act in order to fund and deliver essential community infrastructure and services.

The rates Council collects are a form of property tax. The value of each property is used as the basis for calculating what each property owner will pay.

I believe that all taxes should be as low as possible.

Calculating how much each property owner pays in rates involves determining the total amount of rate revenue required and dividing this across the total value of all rateable properties to establish a rate in the dollar.

The rate in the dollar is then applied against each individual property value to calculate how much each property owner pays.

Council also levies infrastructure charges on the creation of new rateable properties.

A rates cap policy won’t stop the Council from

delivering the services and facilities our region values and needs.

What it will do is improve the Council’s accountability and transparency, and ensure it has to listen to and precisely target community needs.

A rate cap will limit the total amount Council can increase its rates each year based on the amount it levied in the previous year.

A cap on rate increases will provide Moreton Bay Regional Council with a clear framework to guide budget planning and decision making.

A framework which will ensure that essential services continue to be delivered and that Council invests in the necessary local infrastructure to meet community needs.

Only the general rate and municipal charges part of a rates bill are subject to the rate cap. All other parts, such as waste charges and other user fees and levies, remain uncapped.

A rate cap will apply to the Council’s total rate revenue and not individual properties. In many cases, individual rates bill may increase or decrease by more or less than the capped rise amount.

This can occur because the value of the property has increased or decreased in relation to the value of other properties in the council.

The number of rates levied across properties of have changed the type to residential, commercial or rural or has changed through the council’s application of differential rates would also be excluded from this consideration.

My policy to cap rates to CPI will not stop the Council from improving or providing new services or infrastructure projects. But it will provide certainty that Council will live within its means.

Making a fair go on rates a reality