Statements yesterday by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) confirm they have swallowed the State Government’s propaganda on proposed changes to Queensland’s valuation system hook line and sinker and have been bought off by the promise of higher rate revenue in the future.
Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Steve Greenwood said that the LGAQ has naively accepted the State’s assertion that $600 million in past rate revenue is at risk, which the State has not supported with a shred of evidence.
“The Property Council has advised the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy that a maximum of $10 million in collected rates is at risk, based on appeals currently before the courts, Mr Greenwood said.
“This is a far cry from the Governments claim of $600 million, which they have not supported with any data or even a simple rationale. Our estimate is based on cases currently before the courts, which when presented to the Minister was not disputed by his Department.
“All we are asking is that disputes currently before the courts are resolved based on the law in place at the time of the valuation. We do not have an expectation that past valuations that were not disputed or were settled through the objection/appeal process be revisited. It is a simple case of accepting natural justice.
“The Property Council and Shopping Centre Council have also advised the Minister that should the objections/appeals be settled on the law as currently written and interpreted in these disputed cases, property owners would be willing to accept offsets on future rates bills, meaning that councils will not need to stump up their debt immediately.
“In any case, the LGAQ has been on notice for years that the valuations made by the State Government were on shaky ground. After all this issue has been in front of the courts since 2002.
“What is clear is that the LGAQ had their fingers crossed that the State would be successful sneaking this through the back door. They want the State to make life easier for their members to raise extra revenue by artificially inflating the value of land, rather than taking the politically unpopular road of transparently increasing council rates.
“They have been caught out on this one.
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