SKEWED PAYMENTS: Mel Stewart and her daughter Mackenzie.
SKEWED PAYMENTS: Mel Stewart and her daughter Mackenzie. Emma Boughen

Values, rates out of whack

AS RATES were sent out across the region this week, Emerald father-of-three Scott Stewart is growing more frustrated watching his land valuation decrease, while his rates climb higher.

"Rates bills need to match up with our land valuations," he said.

"It's not right that our land valuations come in, tell us that we're worth $30,000 less than last year, but still have to pay rates on the higher amount.

"The working family needs a break."

Scott and his wife Melissa, who own Dream Design Homes built their home about three and a half years ago during the mining upturn.

"On one hand it's hard looking at another $2000 bill when you're waiting on school, and electricity fees to come in, but at the same time we chose to own our home," Melissa said.

"Of course you always want more for what you pay but I love living in Emerald, I think we do have access to great facilities and at the end of the day we chose to build so we didn't have to answer to anyone."

Melissa said the most important thing was having an understanding council.

"We're contractors so we don't have a steady income... the council needs to be understanding of the varying situations of people in their community."

To knock over their bill, the Stewarts have set up a monthly payment plan.

A Central Highlands Regional Council spokesperson said current notices were based on land valuations received in the previous financial year, with valuations that came into effect on June 30, 2015.

The Queensland Government State Valuation Service has just released its annual statutory land valuations for Queensland, which come into effect from the June 30, 2016 and will be used to guide the rates notices council issues in the second half of this year.

The water consumption charges on the current rates notice are for the period from June 1, to November 30, 2015 and are calculated from the usage rates contained in the current 2015-16 budget.

The Local Government Association of Queensland said there is little relationship between rate increases and changes in the value of property.

The formula used to determine rates is linked to the cost of providing new services and functions and maintaining and improving existing services throughout the region.

See next Friday's edition for more on rates notices.


Rates at a glance...

Rates are due by Wednesday, May 11.

A payment discount is available if your rates are paid in full on or before the close of business on the due date.

If you anticipate any difficulty in paying your rates, please contact council well before the due date as there are payment options available.

In 2015-16 for every $100 of rates the Central Highlands is delivereing:

$22.70on community facilities, ranger services and public health and culture and wellbeing.

$36 on planning and development, infrastructure, and economic development and tourism.

$30.70 on waste and recycling, water and wastewater, and flood mitigation and emergency services.

$10.60 on council and executive services, corporate services, and customer services.

For more information about rates and land valuations, visit

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