INCREASED: Norm Sandford is concerned about the rise in rates for his home at Burnett Heads.
INCREASED: Norm Sandford is concerned about the rise in rates for his home at Burnett Heads. Paul Donaldson BUN100817RATE3

Baffled ratepayer demands action

A FRUSTRATED Norm Sanford is calling on coastal ratepayers to form an action group to force Bundaberg Regional Council to stop increasing their general rates.

When the Burnett Heads man picked up his latest rates notice he was shocked to discover his rates had jumped up by 10.5%.

The retired accountant, who has lived at his home since 1988, says all ocean-front properties across the Bundaberg region have had a similar rates rise.

"I checked my rate increase for the previous two years and both were 4.5%,” he said.

"So how can the council justify a 10.5% rise?”

A council spokesman said matters relating to values of individual properties remained a matter for property owners and the property marketplace.

It comes as the NewsMail has been inundated with calls, letters and social media posts from ratepayers complaining about rate rises.

Residents also admit about being confused to the community and environment charge.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey told the NewsMail on Wednesday that the council was the only level of government that spent 100% of its collected revenue for the benefit of its residents and the same would apply to the $50 community and environment charge.

The $2.1 million raised from the levy will be spent on addressing erosion and environmental issues across the region.

Mr Sanford's rates have increased from $1365.40 to $1508.77 during the past six months - a rise of $143 for his $310,000 property.

What troubles Mr Sanford most is the compounding interest.

Mr Sanford argues if the 10.5% rate continues by June next year he will be paying $1666.

"It's the compound interest that will hurt us”

A fed-up Mr Sanford has written a protest letter about the rate rise, which he has dropped off at letterboxes along the Esplanade.

Mr Sanford said his fellow neighbours seemed to agree with his sentiments.

"A neighbour told my wife yesterday morning that he got my letter,” he said.

"He told her they should change their name to the Ned Kelly Regional Council.”



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