LETTER: Don't make rash promises, council candidates

MARK (letter, February 23) is incorrect to say that council does not set the rates we pay. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every year the council decides on the rate in the dollar it is going to charge us. The only thing the State Valuer-General does is set the land valuations each year. It is council which decides who to charge and what it will charge.

Because the Valuer-General valued my land at three times previous valuation (on what grounds he based his valuation I don't know but will be contesting it this year) I am now left in the situation where my rates will rise by 15% per year for at least the next 15 years. Add to that the fact that because I own a business on this land I am already paying three times the cents in the dollar of a normal household.

It really gets up my nose when people write to the paper with grossly ill-informed information.

On top of that I asked the council to justify why I, as a business, have to pay $90 a bin more than any normal household for my bin collection, as:

1. I can't fit any more in the bin than anyone else.

2. The usual trend for buying in bulk is a discount but in my case I have to pay $1850 for five bins. If any normal household had five bins it would only pay $1400 for the same service.

Despite me asking the council to justify these excessive charges it chose to ignore my letter and has never given me an explanation for the extra charges, all of which are set by the council, Mark, not the State Government as you would imply.

Don't go blaming the bureaucrats for the council's mistakes. That is what councillors are elected for, to give the bureaucrats direction and it is the failure of councillors doing their jobs if the bureaucrats are doing things wrong.

The rate in the dollar charged for our rates is ultimately in the hands of councillors, not the bureaucrats so they should be held accountable for their actions, and now is the time to do that.

So all you prospective councillors think about that and tell us what you are thinking. Don't make rash promises as you may regret them later on but study the rates system for next year as this year will already be set. Small business is struggling and cannot bear the extra load forever. We all need to share the load with a fairer rates system.

GARY DINGLE

Gladstone