Council rates should drop if land is re-valued: Mayor Golder
MARANOA Mayor Tyson Golder believes council rates will go down if Roma's land is finally re-valued.
Cr Golder made the comments ahead of a meeting between commercial property owners and Deputy Valuer-General of the State Valuation Service, Vern Di Salvo on Monday night.
Property owners with land based around Roma's industrial precinct met last month to express their anger at land tax as well as rates, which one person described as "exorbitant”.
The forum was revealed by the Western Star, with the vast majority worried about their long-term future in the area if land values stayed at their current levels.
Since council rates are calculated based on land values, Cr Golder said the two should go hand-in-hand.
"Yeah, definitely (they should go down). That's really the mechanism to make it happen, to do a re-valuation of the land,” he said. "It's gone back to old values at best and it's actually affecting business - rates and then land tax are affecting commerce and jobs. If they re-value and property values go down, that will bring rates down.
"Rates now are such a large component that they're nearly like rent, so it's a major cost.”
The Maranoa Regional Council confirmed they had written to the Valuer- General on July 22 to get Roma's land re-valued.
However, Deputy Mayor Jan Chambers, who puts together council's budget, said they wouldn't know if rates would come down until they look at their financial position in 12 months time.
"You can't know for certain until budget deliberations. We have to keep pace with what's happening,” she said.
"We can't afford to go financially backwards, if the expectation is for service levels to remain the same.”
Industrial land-owner Natalie Dingle said she wanted to see as many residents come to the meeting as possible.
"It's really important that as many people turn up. This needs to be done for the future of Roma,” she said.
"We know that the land is going to be re-valued, but we've got massive land tax right now. We need this tax re-valued now, not next year.
"We are hoping to get a concession on this year's land tax.”
Warrego MP Ann Leahy, who organised the meeting, said the current values of industrial land do not reflect to economic climate.
"The Maranoa area was not revalued last year, hence the valuations reflect the business climate when resources projects were at a peak,” she said.
"That level of business activity is now not an accurate indicator of today's economic climate. "The neighbouring local government area, Western Downs Regional Council was revalued last year.”
The meeting between landholders and the State Valuation Service will be held at the Roma Gun Club on Monday, September 19 from 5.30pm.