Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rates Ripoff in Brisbane

CITY Hall will drag five times the amount of general rates out of Kelvin Grove Urban Village this financial year.
Information released by Brisbane City Council after a question with notice shows some inner city buildings will collectively pour 400 per cent more in general rates in to the city’s coffers than last year, with Kelvin Grove Urban Village facing the biggest rise. The Village’s 213 unit owners paid a total $83,411 in general rates to council in the previous financial year, the information shows. But this will jump to $443,750 for the 2008/09 financial year after changes are introduced in January, designed to increase rates for some of the city’s most expensive inner city apartments. The changes, which take effect in January, will lift the general rate for the average unit owner in the Village from $392 last financial year to about $2100 for this financial year. But just a fraction of those living in the Village are owner-occupiers, meaning all but 23 units are owned by investors.
Other addresses to be hard hit by the new ``parity scheme’’ include the Parkland Boulevard building in Brisbane’s CBD, which will collectively pay 364 per cent more in general rates than last year, increasing the building’s total contribution to $753,000. The building contains 168 owner occupied units and 232 investment units.
Council will collect 300 per cent more in general rates for the year from Riverplace Apartments in Brisbane, where 76 of the building’s 314 units are owner occupied.
Owners of units in Admiralty Towers II in Queen Street will fork out 310 per cent more than last financial year.
Riverscape West unit owners in MacDonald St, Kangaroo Point, face an increase of 150 per cent over last financial year.
The information shows just under 1000 owners of units in 116 inner-city apartment blocks will together boost council’s kitty by $6.3 million this financial year under the changes, representing a 127 per cent overall increase for the addresses.
Central ward Councillor David Hinchliffe (Labor) said the changes would take a toll on residents of Kelvin Grove’s Urban Village, which he said was ``not the most salubrious address.’’ Cr Hinchliffe said the impact on unit owners would be about an 800 per cent increase from one quarter’s rates bill to the next.
But council Finance chairman Adrian Schrinner said the information put to rest once and for all claims people were facing 1000 per cent rises in their rates bills. He reiterated a previous commitment to issue letters to unit owners showing the individual increases they face ahead of the January changes.
See City News

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