EX­CLU­SIVE For years the mayor has put for­ward a bud­get with an aim to cut rates. Will he get it through this time?

The Western Star - - Front Page - Jorja McDon­nell jorja.mcdon­[email protected]­ern­

TYSON Golder has ex­pressed his con­fi­dence in this year’s Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil bud­get pro­posal, which again pitches rates re­lief for res­i­dents and busi­nesses.

Coun­cil is yet to set a date for the bud­get vote, but is ex­pected to dis­cuss Cr Golder’s ver­sion in the com­ing weeks as the July 31 dead­line looms.

A RATES freeze is at the top of mayor Tyson Golder’s wish list, as he pre­pares his 2019/2020 bud­get which is ex­pected to split coun­cil opin­ion for a third year in a row.

Cr Golder’s draft bud­get will be met with an­tic­i­pa­tion from col­leagues who have voted down his pre­vi­ous two bud­gets.

Cr Golder said he has brought back the same rates poli­cies for busi­nesses, should his 2019 bud­get make it through the other coun­cil­lors.

As seen in Cr Golder’s draft bud­gets over the years, there’s once again a push to cut rates. “My main fo­cus is rates re­lief for res­i­dents of the Mara­noa and I be­lieve the ef­fects will flow on into bet­ter eco­nomic times,” Cr Golder said.

“An­other thing is to re­duce com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial rates in town, to put them in line with ru­ral rates, so whether some­one is run­ning a busi­ness on the land or a busi­ness in town, it will be all on the same rate.

“That is crucial for grow­ing the re­gion.” A date has not yet been set for this year’s bud­get dis­cus­sions but the coun­cil is re­quired to fi­nalise a bud­get by July 31.

In pre­vi­ous years, Cr Golder’s bud­get pro­pos­als have split opin­ion in the coun­cil, to the point where in 2017 coun­cil­lors passed a mo­tion to ask the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land to re­strict may­oral bud­get re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Cr Golder said he wants to chip away at the coun­cil’s debt.

“I want to fo­cus on pay­ing off more debt and hav­ing an op­er­a­tional sur­plus.”

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