Rates notices should be arriving in your mail box as we speak.
Rates notices should be arriving in your mail box as we speak. Contributed

Rate notices headed your way

EVERY ratepayers favourite time of the year has arrived. Southern Downs Regional Council has this week begun sending out general rates notices.

In an attempt to relieve some pressure from a region already up against it, council has announced they've extended the early rates payment discount from 30 days to 60 days.

SDRC Mayor Tracy Dobie said that council was conscious of the financial and emotional impact of the drought and opted to extend the discount payment period to assist rate payers financially impacted by ongoing dry conditions.

"Council is very much aware of the financial and emotional stress of the drought within the community and responded in the budget with an extended early payment discount period.”

Cr Dobie said that while there had been feedback from the community that the 2 per cent rise was too high given the drought and water restrictions, the rise was comparable to other similar sized Queensland regional councils.

"Our two percent rate rise is in-line with other rate increases delivered in the current drought climate,” Cr Dobie said.

"The average rate rise was 2.1 per cent across similar councils such as Central Highlands, Goondiwindi, Isaac, Lockyer, Noosa Shire, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett and Western Downs.”

It's the lowest rate rise in more than 10 years, Cr Dobie said.

Utility charges for water, sewer and waste increased by only 2.75 per cent, the same amount as the 2018-2019 Financial Year.