June 26, 2017
South Burnett ratepayers will face an average 2.5 per cent rate rise after the South Burnett Regional Council handed down its 2017-18 Budget on Monday morning.
The rise is identical to the 2.5 per cent rate rise handed down last year, which was the lowest increase since the 2008 council amalgamations.
It marks the fourth year in a row the Council has handed down a near-CPI rate rise.
As expected, the $200-a-year Road Levy will stay in place.
But it will not be indexed, which means the real cost of the levy to ratepayers has now declined by about 8 per cent since it was introduced in the 2013-14 Budget.
Water, sewerage and waste collection charges will also rise by 2.5 per cent, but there will be no change to water consumption charges.
The Environmental levy will increase by $1 to $29 per year; the Waste Management Levy will rise $3 to $128 per year; and domestic garbage collection charges will increase by $4 to $157 per year.
However, the Community Rescue Evacuation Levy will remain at $4 per year, and the Rural Fire Levy will continue to be $25 per year.
The region’s $200-a-year pensioner discount will also stay in place.
This Council rebate – along with a maximum $200 annual rebate from the State Government – should see pensioners be able to reduce their rate bills by $400 a year.
The 10 per cent discount for settlement of rates by the due date will also remain.
Mayor Keith Campbell said the net effect on an average residential rate bill of $2800 pa is that rates will rise by around $70 per year, or $1.40 per week.
The low rate rise has been made possible by efficiencies found within the Council’s operations, which include a reduction of between 10 and 13 administrative staff positions over the coming year.
The Council anticipates finishing the current financial year with a $1 million surplus, slightly better than the $789,000 surplus it forecast 12 months ago.