The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Toowoomba Regional Council - Rates skyrocket as ratepayers slugged ...

The Chronicle:

Rates skyrocket in budget grab

1 August 2009

A large number of Toowoomba ratepayers will be slugged with a total rate rise of nearly 30 per cent.

Council trumpeted a general rate rise of 7% when it handed down its budget on Tuesday, but the actual yearly rates bill will be increased by much more.

Calculations made by The Chronicle yesterday showed a typical Centenary Heights household’s total rates bill would increase by 26% under the new rates structure released this week.

On top of an average general rate rise of 7%, ratepayers are facing a 100% hike in water access charges and a significant increase in water consumption charges.

A typical Newtown ratepayer is also facing an increase of about 26%.

The calculations also included increased sewerage and waste collection charges.

It means many average households in Toowoomba will have to find almost $3000 for rates this year.

Meanwhile at Millmerran, a typical ratepayer is facing a total rates increase of about 14%.

Toowoomba Regional Council mayor Peter Taylor yesterday apologised for the increased costs to ratepayers.

He said it was important to point out some rates bills in the region could actually go down under the new structure.

“We know it’s a large cost, but we have to do it,” Cr Taylor said. “This decision secures Toowoomba and the areas connected to the water supply for the next 50 years.”

Cr Taylor said the rates increases would “turn council’s finances upside down”.

“Last year, the council had an operating deficit of $19.1 million,” he said. “This year, we have budgeted for an operating surplus of $50,000.

“That is a massive turnaround.

“I acknowledge we’ve done it in one go and there is going to be a lot of pain. But this budget puts us in a self-sustainable position and a strong financial position for the future.”

Cr Taylor said the water access charge had been separated from the general rates notice to help spread the load on ratepayers.

“It’s not to hide the cost, it’s to spread it out.”

See - The Chronicle - Rates skyrocket in budget grab.

How soon before the Councillors want another pay rise ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't have to worry about a pay rise as they get an automatic one with the pay increase the State politicians get.

5:14 PM, August 01, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite simply Taylor and Co. are useless - they should not have passed such a large deficit on to the ratepayers of Toowoomba

8:50 PM, August 01, 2009

Anonymous Mike Williams said...

Toowoomba City council ran a deficit budget as did most councils in Qld . With the withdrawal of State government grants for infrastructure this is no longer viable . All councillors took a pay decrease at the 30th of June and will continue to do so every year until the election.

9:44 AM, August 04, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cr Mike Williams?

1:04 AM, August 05, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

The Chronicle:

Submissions sought over rise

5th August 2009

TOOWOOMBA region residents who did not approve of Mayor Peter Taylor’s 14 per cent pay rise this year are urged to write to the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal before it sets next year’s salary range for council.

The tribunal is seeking written submissions from members of the public to assist in making its annual decision about remuneration for Toowoomba Regional Council’s mayor, deputy mayor and councillors.

The tribunal sets the minimum and maximum salary range available and councillors choose where they sit in the range.

In January, governance and administration manager Norm Garsden recommended to councillors that they accept a 4 per cent pay increase.

However, Mayor Peter Taylor and his 10 councillors rejected this advice and instead decided they would pay themselves the maximum salary allowed.

Cr Taylor pockets $156,894 this year which is a self-appointed pay rise of $19,294 (14 per cent).

Councillors now earn $95,790 for this year, an increase of $8230 (9.4 per cent). These figures include amalgamation loading.

A council spokesman yesterday said councillors had not requested any council officer to prepare a submission to the tribunal.

Submissions can be made online at, by calling 1800 030 114, or faxed to (07) 32474172.

Submissions close on September 30. The tribunal makes its decision on December 1.

10:14 AM, August 05, 2009


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