Mayor Mick Curran defends this year's rate rise and his record since being elected to the top job.
Mayor Mick Curran defends this year's rate rise and his record since being elected to the top job. Renee Albrecht

Curran: Rates rose average 1.72% per year since 2015

MOST residents will now be receiving their half-yearly rate notices, and I have already noted some commentary around rate increases and past commitments.

Rates and any subsequent increases are unfortunate but at times a necessity.

It is a little known fact that rates collected by councils in Australia account for approximately 3per cent of all taxation in this country, but local councils are responsible for maintaining approximately 33per cent of all infrastructure.

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The majority of the region's properties (those on the minimal general rate), which accounts for approximately 12,000 properties, will see a rate increase of less than one dollar per week, or 1.8 per cent. Approximately 2000 properties will see increases of between one to two dollars per week (1.8per cent based on the property valuation) and much higher valued properties (approximately 7700) will see increases of between $2 and $5 per week (based on a 1.8per cent increase on the valuation).

Gympie Town Hall
Gympie Town Hall Leeroy Todd

Council this year decided that levying a 1.8per cent rise across all valuations was the most equitable way to deliver our budget. The 10per cent discount (which was introduced under my leadership) for early payment remains, as does the pensioner discount.

I did make a commitment to have average rate increases linked to CPI. On that note, over the five budgets delivered for our region from 2015, you will see an average rate rise per year of 1.72per cent.

Over that same period, CPI rose on average 1.62per cent per year. Council has missed the mark by 0.1 per cent, and I'm happy to wear the criticism for that.

It should be noted that the rate increases from amalgamation in 2008 to 2015 averaged 7.6per cent per year.

As for Gympie Regional Council having some of the highest rates in Queensland, the facts show that compared to 12 other Queensland Category Three councils (Gympie Regional Council is a Category Three council), we in fact sit at number six - with five councils charging higher rates and six councils charging lower rates.

Gympie Times


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