RATEPAYERS will take another hit to the hip pocket after the newly elected Gympie Regional Council brought down its first budget yesterday, lifting rates by 3.5% and making going to the toilet that much more expensive.
There were no words of dissent as the council adopted the general rate rise, combined with a 7.9% sewerage rate rise, a 5% water rate rise and small rises in cleansing, the environment levy and the waste management levy.
It's the lowest rate rise in several years, and comes on the heels of a 9.8% rate rise, a 5.95% rate rise, a 5.8% rate rise and a 4.7% rate rise.
The hike means Mary St property owners could be looking at an annual rates bill $850 steeper, and home owners in Old Maryborough Rd, Exhibition Rd and Henry St will be paying $110-115 more.
Along Mary Valley Rd the rates bills will be about $100 higher, the Bruce Hwy $235 more and a Langshaw farm $227 more, depending on land values.
On the flip side, the owners of high-end coastal property along The Esplanade at Tin Can Bay will see their rates bills drop by as much as $250 because of reduced land values there.
Pensioners will be slightly better off due to a $20 increase in the pensioner rebate.
Mayor Ron Dyne made no apologies for the rate rise, saying it was only slightly higher than CPI and essential for maintaining such a large region.
He said the document was forged by the high expectations of the community, the devastating flood damage of the last two years, the rising cost of building and maintaining council infrastructure and a continued slowdown in local development leading to significantly reduced income from fees.