Rates rise as land value plummets

FED UP: Chinchilla resident Gordon Hodgson is not happy that council rates continue to rise while land value and services decline.
FED UP: Chinchilla resident Gordon Hodgson is not happy that council rates continue to rise while land value and services decline. Julia Baker

A CHINCHILLA pensioner is fed up and wants answers from Western Downs Regional Council after receiving his latest half-yearly rates notice.

Gordon Hodgson is feeling the sting of the increasing cost of rates while the land value of his property continues to plummet.

His rates have risen from $774.01 in February 2015 to $920.27 in February of this year, an increase of $146.26 in two years.

This year the value of MrHodgson's land has plunged to $95,000 from $180,000 in 2015.

The 2016-17 Mayoral Budget Statement released in June 2016 said for the majority of residents, rates would increase by 2.9% on average and the average residential property general rate would increase by $23.68 a year or 46 cents a week.

Between 2016 and 2017, however, Mr Hodgson's rates have risen from $801.39 to $902.27, an increase of $118.88 or 14.8%.

Mr Hodgson said he was speaking up because many people in the community shared his concerns.

"This is why I reckon I should mention it because I've spoken to other people and they all say the same thing," he said.

"I've mentioned it to the council before when I've paid my rates and they just say that's the way it is, they're just ignoring me but they probably do that to everyone.

"It's not me personally, it's an overall complaint."

Mr Hodgson said his biggest gripe was not the decreased value of his land but that the council had reduced services in the Chinchilla area.

"The council is meant to mow the footpath, it's council property, but for the last three months the next door neighbour has been doing it for me on his ride-on," he said.

"Everyone I talk to says there is a lack of service and costs are going up.

"One person I spoke to is on the council, when he went on long service they didn't replace him, they just carried on with less staff. They are reducing staff and not keeping up with the work.

"They are reducing their services around town. I get the garbage picked up but there are other things that were done by the council and now they're not, like looking after the parks and gardens and I've heard complaints about the roads."

The council calculates rates using a rate in the dollar amount, which is multiplied by the unimproved value of a property.

In the past five years from 2012-17 the rate in the dollar amount has risen from 0.004495 to 0.00574.

Mr Hodgson is a pensioner who receives a payment of just over $800 a fortnight and said every six months he paid his rates with "great difficulty".

"I have a very small reserve which I don't like to touch but what I do is go in and pay it and get my discount for paying early, then I use my bank card to pay it but then I pay that off, you see, so I end up paying the interest," he said.

The pay-on-time discount applies to residents who pay their notice early but was halved in the council's last budget from 10% to 5%.

Mr Hodgson is also eligible for a pension council rates rebate, a set amount that remains unchanged despite fluctuations in rate prices.

At the end of last financial year, Western Downs Regional Council also decreased the pension council rates rebate by 5%.

"Two years ago my pension rebate was $209.32, this year it's $209.96. My rebate has only gone up by 64 cents," he said.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said council had a "rates baseline" it needed to maintan, and also said he was disappointed to hear criticism of Western Downs Regional Council's Parks and Gardens team.

"Our parks and gardens crew have greatly improved what they do, it's been a priority of ours," he said.

"We have just started consulting on and planning for Chinchilla Botanical Garden.

"The team works hard to upkeep the gardens and for the development of our community ... our crew have been doing a great job, so I am really disappointed to hear that.

"People would be disappointed if we didn't deliver a high standard of liveability in our communities ... if we stagnate our rates our services would drop off.

"Land values decrease but the costs for council of maintenance and the upkeep of our communities doesn't ... we have a rates baseline we need to achieve to provide services."

Cr McVeigh said while he understood people liked to "keep money in their pockets", there was a monetary value the council needed to reach to run to budget.

The council is currently working on its next budget, which is due to be released in June.

"We want to be as efficient as we can, we are really focused on providing the best of service at the most economical cost to provide services to the community," Cr McVeigh said.

Topics:  chinchilla land values rate rise western downs regional council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Miles turns up the volume

ROCK ON: Jazz in the Garden at Kylie Bourne's property Sunnyview, Miles in 2011.

Miles ready to rock and roll.

Codettes make history

Condamine Codette Emily Mickelborough tackles Dalby Wheatchix player Kate Thompson.

Condamine Codettes make a splash.

Rustlers reborn as Downtown Cafe

NEW OWNER: Jatinder Kumar is the new owner of the Downtown Cafe, replacing Rustlers at 25 Bell St, Chinchilla.

Jatinder Kumar purchases cafe from RSL Memorial Club

Local Partners

Extreme two years for region's melon farmers

In just two years, melon growers have seen both extremes of Mother Nature

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Morgan Evans opens up about his CMC love story

SINGER returns from Nashville to host tonight's CMC Music Awards, which he co-hosted last year with his now fiance Kelsea Ballerini.

What's on the big screen this week

OLD TALE: Emma Watson brings to life the character of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

DISNEY'S remake of Beauty and the Beast opens to rave reviews.

MKR recap: Josh and Amy figure out how to get along

Josh and Amy have figured out how to get along and cook well. Stay away from each other.

THEY’RE the couple we love to hate, but something changed tonight.

Mariah’s making a movie we probably don’t need

Mariah Carey and her dog Jack are prepping for a Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey is making animated movie ready for Christmas.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney remake a beauty-ful story

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Emma Watson stars as Belle in classic tale of finding unlikely love

MOVIE REVIEW: Peppa Pig's Aussie adventure will delight fans

A scene from My First Cinema Experience: Peppa Pig's Australian Holiday.

Peppa visits Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef in feature film debut

'Dangerous precedent': Beachfront tree clearing rejected

WHAT A VIEW: A Google Earth aerial view of the strip of houses and sand dunes at Shelly Beach which could be set for changes.

BREAKING: Beachfront residents' bold bid to improve views fails

Couple ditch Springfield for $350 million rural lifestyle

Sales consultant Rachel Hargreaves (left) of Oliver Hume Waterlea at Wallon with new land owner Rebecca Mallett.

“To purchase a block the same size would be double the price here"

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Stylish Coast home lures buyers from four states

PRIZED POSITION: The six-bedroom house with swimming pool and floodlit tennis court is on 4562sq

Expansive property boasts serious space

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!