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Tablelands residents brace for rate rises after property valuations soar

Tablelands Regional Council says it will do its best to manage rate rises, after property valuations in the region skyrocketed.

Landowners have received their updated valuations from the Department of Resources over the past few weeks.

Mayor Rod Marti says there have been increases across the board, reflecting the high demand for Tablelands properties.

"Land in the region is in demand because of our reputation as a high-value agricultural hotspot, for its reliable rainfall and available water, and because it’s a sought-after place to live.

"The flow on effect of having perhaps the highest value agricultural land in the country and high liveability is the influence this has on land valuations.”

Like all councils, Tablelands Regional Council uses the valuations in its calculation of rates.

In 2017, there was outcry after rate hikes of up to 90%, mostly for properties located within what’s known as the ‘golden triangle’.

Chairman of FNQ Growers, Joe Moro, told Tropic Now residents will be poring over their next rates bills.

“There’s going to be a lot of scrutiny as to how the Council deals with it,” he said.

“Farmers are asset rich but cash poor.

“Councils do have the power to minimise the impact.”

Cr Marti said while Council will work to mitigate increases, it won’t be easy.

“If we have had a spike in land valuations in just one area, we could capture and manage that particular area, however on this occasion the changes to land valuations have occurred across the entire region,” he said.

“Also adding to the complexity is the land valuation changes are not consistent within rates categories — they vary significantly with some increasing and others decreasing.

“This means that whatever we do to soften or mitigate impacts, there will be swings and roundabouts.

‘There is certainly no easy fix, but we’ll do our best to manage this, acting responsibly and fairly.”

If you disagree with your new land valuation, you can submit your objection online or call the Department of Resources on 1300 644 217.