Opinion: Are we getting good value from our rates?

OPINION: Our local property owners had the unpleasant task of opening their rates notice envelope this week, and the results have been pretty damming.

I'm sure that readers of this publication will have plenty to say on the issue this week and I think they are entitled to do so.

Home owners in the region are undoubtedly doing it tough in terms of the rising costs of ownership and diminished capital values.

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Obviously though this doesn't automatically mean the general rates costs go down.

There is currently also a high level of public interest in government wastage at all levels following the outrage surrounding Bronwyn Bishop's helicopter rides, and quite rightly so.

So it's a difficult balance for the local council to strike when it comes to the budget, but perhaps what the community really wants to feel "value" in their rates payments.

Given the trauma the local market has been through since the onslaught of the gas projects, we should remember that it was the state government that approved all the projects and the associated conditions.

However, the fact remains that there is a perception that the locals have been short changed with rising costs of living becoming an increasing concern.

It would be great to know the breakdown of the 14.64% decrease "as a whole" from across the region.

And the seemingly negative effect that all the additional housing approvals over the last few years has had on the efficiencies of home ownership.

If I am correct the water access charges have increased by nearly 15% alone.

It's also interesting to note that there are different CPI increases at play… one for the man on the street - currently 1.4% and if I am correct one for local councils - being 2.2%.

Mark Spearing is the Gladstone zone chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.



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