Noosa Council rates may stay put if the fat can be trimmed
RATES in Noosa will stay on hold for most properties regardless of the latest land valuations, if Mayor Noel Playford and his councillors can rein in "inherited" fat in the system.
Cr Playford wants next financial year's budget to be as pain-free for ratepayers as possible.
He said rates were "high enough now".
"We're putting together a budget for next year (2014-15) now, which at this stage is based on no rate increase," Cr Playford told the Noosa News.
"Whether we can sustain that or not we'll see. It will depend on what the councillors decide in the end."
Even top-end properties that could attract a higher level of increase in the unimproved property value might be spared a rates rise.
"If the total valuation goes up and we don't want to increase the amount of general rates, we would do that by reducing the rate in the dollar," Cr Playford said.
"The effect of (valuation) changes really only affects around 25% of ratepayers (in Noosa) because the vast majority of ratepayers pay the minimum general rate.
"And so long as the valuation does not put them over, they still pay the minimum general rate.
"We're aiming for no increases in rates - the rates are high enough now."
Mr Playford was more interested in cutting out any budget "flab" for the new financial year.
"The thing is there are in-built inefficiencies and fat, if you like, within the current budget that basically we inherited.
"So we've got to get them out of the system.
"One of the tools that can be used is to say there won't be any increases.
"We go to a zero-based budget and everything has to start from nothing and has to be justified."