Rates rise, val­ues drop

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - HEATHER BECK

NEW Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil half-yearly rates no­tices have been re­ceived across the Dou­glas re­gion this week and many will have con­tained an un­pleas­ant sur­prise for prop­erty own­ers.

Al­though rates were ex­pected to have risen only mod­estly, this was mainly due to a de­cline in land val­ues as a re­sult of gov­ern­ment val­u­a­tions re­leased in early May.

The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Re­source Man­age­ment fig­ures re­vealed ma­jor drops in land val­u­a­tions of coastal ar­eas, the high­est a de­crease of up to 26 per cent in Newell Beach.

Port Dou­glas, Mow­bray and Cooya Beach were also hit with drops of up to 20 per cent, al­though some ru­ral val­ues in­creased by around 10 per cent.

DERM ad­vised at the time that all home­own­ers would re­ceive writ­ten no­ti­fi­ca­tion of their new val­u­a­tion, how­ever many peo­ple were yet to see the ac­tual fig­ures.

One frus­trated Wonga Beach prop­erty owner de­scribed it as a “lose-lose” sit­u­a­tion - not only had his land been de­val­ued by $50,000 but he re­ceived no re­prieve in the form of lower rates.

“I wanted to sell and it was a dis­ap­point­ment be­cause it gave the buyer a bit of lever­age to talk me down,” he said.

Acting coun­cil CEO Bruce Gar­diner said ratepay­ers who had not re­ceived their copy by the end of this week should con­tact coun­cil.

Mr Gar­diner said 2011 has been a dif­fi­cult year for home own­ers and urged any­one hav­ing dif­fi­culty pay­ing their rates to con­tact coun­cil to dis­cuss a pay­ment plan. Rates pay­ments are due by Au­gust 29 with over­due ac­counts be­ing charged in­ter­est at 11 per cent per an­num.

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