Cairns impose 1.5% increase in their general rates



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Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning. IMAGE: Facebook.

Seventy per cent of Cairns ratepayers will receive an increase of 1.5 per cent or less in their general rates, Mayor Bob Manning announced after presenting the 2019/20 Cairns Regional Council budget. 

Late last month, Douglas Shire residents received a 1.8 per cent rate increase – one of “the lowest for as long as I can remember”, said Mayor Julia Leu.  

In bringing down the budget, Mayor Manning said council had committed to doing everything in its power to stimulate the local economy, and keeping rate rises to a minimum very much contributed to that goal.

“In striking the rate in the dollar for 2019/20, Council took into account that land valuations released by the State Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy have risen by an average of seven per cent (some by up to 29%), with the median residential land value increasing from $177,500 to $190,000.

“We have responded by reducing the rate in the dollar by up to 5 per cent in almost all residential categories,” said Mayor Manning.

He said this will assist to smooth out the impact of the higher values and results in 70% of ratepayers receiving an increase of 1.5 per cent or less in their general rates.

Sewerage, cleansing and water access charges will also increase by just 1.5 per cent, while residential water usage charges will rise by just two cents to $1.21 per kilolitre

Council has already announced that there will be no increase to Council’s fees and charges for the next financial year apart from two charges connected with commercial waste management, and parking costs which will rise by 20 cents per hour from 1st January next year.

“In due course, we will again do our annual benchmarking exercise which compares our rates and utility charges with 11 other Councils of similar size.

“This exercise has traditionally returned excellent results for Cairns – in fact we have been the lowest of all of those councils for the past two years based on residential median value,” he said.

Budget snapshot:

Mayor Bob Manning’s Budget address:  

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