Landholders accept new values with suspicion

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A 60 per cent increase in local land values, stated in valuations sent to householders yesterday, appeared to be "a little excessive,'' according to at least one local real estate agent.

Benn Real Estate principal Dulcie Benn said while it was difficult to judge the fairness of the increase without looking at the individual properties, it did seem a little high.

"It certainly seems a lot to me,'' she said.

Ms Benn said the local real estate market had been holding steady but there had not been the movement which would warrant a 60 per cent increase in values.

"It has been fairly level over the last 12 months, but it does seem a little bit high,'' she said.

Elders Real Estate principal Colin Burke expressed concern that the re- valuation process was used as a reve- nue raiser by the government.

He said while there were some lo- cal properties that would justify the 60 per cent increase, it was difficult to assess the valuations.

"It all depends on the base it (the property) is coming from and the individual property,'' Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke also said the local real estate market had been solid but not spectacular.

Land valuations can in turn affect rates charged on properties.

There are now fears that residents will be forced to pay increased rates as a result of the changes.

The increase in land values was seen across the state yesterday when the new valuations were sent out to householders.

However despite the increase in valuations Premier Peter Beattie has warned local councils not to increase rates.

"Just because the valuations have been released is no justification for rate increases anywhere and Queenslanders need to know that,'' Mr Beattie said.



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