RAJ REPORT

Should Cairns Regional Council bring back early payment discount of rates————-She says the council’s decision in 2008 to scrap the incentive, based on financial advice, has been very unpopular. “There’s been actually a community backlash against that,” she said. “Now that people are so concerned about the cost of living and the increase in electricity and fuel, they keep on saying to us that they want us to bring back that discount for early payment and I’m proposing that that be a 5 per cent discount that the next council would bring in.

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Schier promises return of rates discount

Posted Thu 5 Apr 2012, 10:04am AEST

Cairns Mayor Val Schier says a community backlash has prompted a pledge to reintroduce a rates discount if she is re-elected.

Councillor Schier says savings made through recent voluntary redundancies will be used to offset the discount.

She says the council’s decision in 2008 to scrap the incentive, based on financial advice, has been very unpopular.

“There’s been actually a community backlash against that,” she said.

“Now that people are so concerned about the cost of living and the increase in electricity and fuel, they keep on saying to us that they want us to bring back that discount for early payment and I’m proposing that that be a 5 per cent discount that the next council would bring in.”

She says while future rate rises cannot be avoided, the discount for prompt payment can be funded through savings.

“It will cost the council but we do need to remember that we have made some savings, $4 million as a result of the voluntary redundancies that have happened recently and so I’ll be asking council officers to look closely at that to make sure that we can afford it without cutting our services in any way,” she said.

The ‘Unity’ team’s mayoral contender, Bob Manning, says such a move could cost the council more than it can afford.

“I’m not going to go out there and make promises that may be affected by some externalities over which you don’t have control,” he said.

“All I can say is that we will give the lowest possible rate that we can and that will be dependent upon our ability to run a council which is more effective, more efficient.”

He says voters heard similar promises in the 2008 election campaign, which were not kept.

“The then-candidate for the mayoralty but now the current Mayor, Val Schier, made a promise to the people of Cairns there would be no rate increase during the term of her government,” he said.

“So I think any people who are hearing a comment like that ought to cast their mind back to four years ago.”

Crime fight

Mr Manning also says he wants to lead a council that is tougher on crime.

He says his Unity team would consider fast-tracking the rollout of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in crime hot spots and boosting security patrols in popular CBD locations.

However, he says the specific details of his policy will depend on talks with police, after the election.

“I don’t think the council wants to take on the job of the police but it needs to be helping the police,” he said.

“So whether that’s done through additional patrolling, whether it’s done through CCTV, whether that’s done through operating hours or what, we need to look at how we can work together to maximise the effort at the lowest possible cost.”

Cr Schier says the council is already spending about $1.5 million a year on security in the city centre.

“Where I would like to go next term of council is for us to actually purchase a mobile CCTV camera so we can actually use it in some of those hot spots that occur from time to time in parks where people start gathering and that’s something that I’d be doing in the next term of council as well,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

Schier promises return of rates discount – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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2 thoughts on “Should Cairns Regional Council bring back early payment discount of rates————-She says the council’s decision in 2008 to scrap the incentive, based on financial advice, has been very unpopular. “There’s been actually a community backlash against that,” she said. “Now that people are so concerned about the cost of living and the increase in electricity and fuel, they keep on saying to us that they want us to bring back that discount for early payment and I’m proposing that that be a 5 per cent discount that the next council would bring in.

  1. Hi Raj, There is no such thing as discounted rates as the council has a budget of X dollars to do what councils do. The council has a certain number of rateable properties. The council in simple terms divides the X dollars required by the value of the rateable properties and that is your share (rates) of the council budget. If they give you a discount the council simply add the 5% on to the rates and then gives that to you as a discount if you pay before time. If you don’t pay on time the council has a win fall. The other discount councils give is for pensioners, some of which is paid by the State Government, the bit given by the council is shared by all other rate payers as there is no free lunch and somebody has to pay to the tax to make the councils budget of X dollars. Nelson.

  2. Nelson,The pensioner discount is separate to the early payment discount especially in Townsville and Gold Coast. The Council is projecting a $6 million surplus so why not put some money back in the economy by giving the discount

    Townsville Policy

    Discount for Prompt Payment
    A prompt payment discount is allowed when full payment
    of all rates and charges, including any arrears, is received
    by the due date shown on the notice.
    Discount of 15% is calculated on the following charges:
    General Rates, Nelly Bay Harbour Special Rate and the
    Black River Rural Water Supply Scheme Special Rate.
    Townsville City Council Pensioner Concession
    A concession is offered to Approved Pensioners
    equivalent to 85% of the general rate, up to a maximum
    of $800.00 per annum. This will apply only if all rates and
    charges levied for the 2013/14 financial year are paid in
    full by 31/05/2014

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