18 January 2019
Council is developing the rates presentation for the 2019/20 Financial Year. It is expected that the General Rate increase will be in line with the latest CPI adjustment, however, this is yet to be finalised.
Every ratepayer in the region contributes towards a number of services in their General Rate. These services include – Roads; Parks and Gardens; Buildings and Property Maintenance; Swimming Pools and Public Halls; Information Technology and Communications; Customer Service Centres and Administration; Economic Development and Tourism; Libraries; Public Conveniences and Cemeteries; Pest Management; Community Support Heritage and the Arts; Environmental Health; Planning and Building Activities; Depreciation; and a number of smaller investments in a range of activities. Approximately 50% of the General Rate component is spent on the design, maintenance and renewal of our road network.
There are also additional services including Water Reticulation, Waste Water (Sewerage) and Waste Collection (Rubbish), that only those ratepayers who are provided those services pay for. Water, Waste Water and Waste Collection are regarded as business units of Council that need to operate as a business would. The cost of equipment and technology together with capital upgrades is paid solely by those ratepayers who use that service. Some significant upgrades to aged water and sewerage treatment plants are being investigated and will need to be factored in to future budgets. The majority of rural ratepayers do not make a contribution in their rates toward these three business units. The reality is, regardless if you use swimming pools, libraries, parks or halls, every ratepayer irrespective of where they live, pays for these community services relative to their rating category and in proportion to property valuation.
There are some 45 differing rate categories spread across the 17,500 ratepayers who make up the South Burnett. I am happy to provide further information to any ratepayer who requires more information about their rates.
The next budget will be handed down in June and over the next couple of months Council will communicate information about the budget to keep ratepayers informed.