TOP DOLLAR: Lockyer Valley Regional Council ratepayers are slugged with the most expensive rates in the South-East region, while Somerset pays the cheapest.
TOP DOLLAR: Lockyer Valley Regional Council ratepayers are slugged with the most expensive rates in the South-East region, while Somerset pays the cheapest. Contributed

Lockyer ratepayers slugged more than Coast, Brisbane

LOCKYER Valley Regional Council ratepayers are slugged with the most expensive rates in southeast Queensland.

That's according to a comparison designed by Ipswich City Council to compare the costs of rates among councils.

Lockyer Valley ratepayers fork out more than any other council on the comparison list, with the median value property paying just shy of $2000 in net rates and charges a year according to ICC.

Somerset resident have the lowest of the pack, with the average ratepayer paying just over $1000 for their rates.

When asked whether Lockyer Valley rate payers received more services for the higher rates, a spokesman for Lockyer Valley Regional Council said the rate cost reflected the service the council provided.

"As a council we only rate for the level of services required so in other words, we only raise enough revenue through rates to deliver the services residents both want and need," he said.

The spokesperson added the council had worked to keep rate rises to a minimum.

"This Council has gone above and beyond in being able to keep rate rises to an absolute minimum, in fact, had we taken the simple option and just applied our rates model with the recent land valuation fluctuations, as an organisation we would have generated an additional $4 million in income," they said.

"But that's not what this Council is about. Instead we raised rates by no more than was absolutely necessary to deliver our services across the region."

Rate comparison for Somerset, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Logan, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Toowoomba, Redland, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Lockyer Valley Councils.
Rate comparison for Somerset, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Logan, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Toowoomba, Redland, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Lockyer Valley Councils. Contributed

While comparing rates across councils was difficult, Ipswich City Council used the median value property and compared rate charges with the media value properties in several councils, including the Somerset and Lockyer Valley.

Ipswich City Council said this created an "apples-to-apples" comparison. But Lockyer Valley Regional Council doesn't accept the comparison as fair.

The spokesperson said there were a number of factors when it came to rates modelling but given the regions aren't identical, the figures wouldn't give an accurate reflection.

"To get an accurate comparison is almost impossible when you consider a street in another region may contain 50 houses and four apartment buildings, when in the Lockyer Valley the same length street may only contain 10 properties," they said.

"Each region will have a different mix of rateable properties, be they residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial.

"Each Council will also have different financial objectives and requirements which is reflected in the rates being charged."



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