Milton, property taxes and rates etc

Rates Blue Continues

The first of Council’s newly increased rates notices have landed with January’s mail and cranky ratepayers are continuing the fight for City Hall to reconsider the new policy. The Lord Mayor last year announced a new “parity” system he argued would bring fairness to rates bills, with apartments and townhouse owners effectively penalised relative to house owners. After a widespread backlash (that the Lord Mayor apparently didn’t see coming) Council watered it down with some concessions on the policy.

 

The issue last week reached the Supreme Court, with Brisbane Assoc for Ratepayer Equity (BARE – and no, they’re not nudists!) lodging a challenge to BCC’s legal position. Visit BARE’s website for more on their campaign. As you’d expect there’s claims the group are stacked with Newman’s political opponents but our feeling out in “ratepayer land” is this issue is touching a sizable nerve, regardless of people’s politics. BCC has been criticised for secrecy surrounding the method of calculating rises, so have a look at their website to see if you can work it out!  A random sample of our landlord clients show January rates rises range from 17% (St Lucia) up to a whopping 55% increase (Hamilton) on the same quarter in 2008.

 

Regardless of the outcome in this new court action the issue’s likely to haunt Council for some time to come.