Council expresses concern over evaluating land values in Maranoa
THE Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy has asked council’s position on whether an annual valuation is required for the Maranoa region.
In yesterday’s council meeting, councillor Cameron O’Neil moved the motion to request a valuation be required to be effective on June 30, 2021.
He said he was “burnt by the decision” in 2016 when council voted to not re-evaluate the land stating there were significant decreases in land valuations which impacted individuals and council’s annual budget.
“In my first term of council, 2012-2016, they were on an annual basis, like today a report from staff detailing the correspondence from the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy asking our position, as council to whether we should advocate for the valuations to occur,” he said.
“Each year of that term, they were undertaken. In the last year of that term, the council’s decision was that they weren’t undertaken and I supported that at the time because there had been significant increases in the previous three years in land valuation.
“I thought that was the right decision at the time, but as it turns out, by holding the land valuations by one year, when they did the valuation in the following financial year, there was significant decreases which had a major impact on individuals and major impact on council’s annual budget and I just think it was wrong.
“I am burnt by that decision that happened in my first year and I never should have supported it.
“And previous colleagues at the time – we agreed, we should have done the valuation.
“While we may not like the outcome of having valuations, or we may, I think it’s prudent upon us that we advocate they need to happen on an annual basis.”
Cr Wendy Taylor seconded the motion.
Mayor Tyson Golder opposed re-evaluating the land staying during COVID-19, it would be best to wait a year.
“I certainly don’t believe this is in the local government’s interest to do a valuation at the moment as I think we’ve got major volatility in what’s happening and the affects of COVID-19 which is changing things,” he said.
“This time, it would be prudent not to do valuations and wait for a period of time.”
Cr Joh Hancock expressed her concern saying she recalls the flow-on affects when council chose not to valuate land in the Maranoa.
“Mr mayor, if we don’t do it, I remember the flow-on affect of prices going up and we know these rural areas have gone up – prices of land, what would be the fall out? Will it be a double-whammy for those rural properties when we do get the valuation?” Cr Hancock questioned.
The mayor responded to Cr Hancock stating there have been extraordinary rises in valuation, but in 12-months it could be a totally different scenario.
“I believe it’s the time to be stable and wait,” he said.
“For me, we could be in a totally different position 12-months from now so that’s why I think the safest thing for Maranoa ratepayers is to see whether this spike stabilises.”
Cr Hancock questioned the mayor, “how we do ever make that decision if we never know what the future holds?”
“I really am respectively asking for your opinion on this, how do we ever make this decision if we don’t know what the next 12-months holds?
“I’m just so worried about the flow-on affect if the valuation keep going up further and further.”
Cr John Birkett asked council staff how many valuations had been undertaken in the last eight years.
According to the council agenda, the last revaluation was undertaken with the effective date June 30, 2018 which saw a significant increase in the rural sector.
Council staff chose to lay this motion on the table to gather more information.
All nine councillors but Cr O’Neil voted to lay it on the table.