By Jeremy Sollars
Ratepayers are looking at a rate rise of 2.75 per cent in the 2018-2019 Southern Downs Regional Council budget.
Draft budget papers presented to the March council meeting being held in Stanthorpe this morning, Wednesday 28 March, show the projected rates, capital works and surplus forecasts for next financial year.
The draft budget shows the proposed 2.75 per cent rate rise – applying to general rates and waste, water and wastewater charges – will raise $55.26 million for the council next financial year.
Rates in the region rose by 3.4 per cent this financial year and the council has factored in an annual 3 per cent rise going forward indefinitely.
The SDRC is one of a number of Queensland councils currently on the State Government’s ‘watch list’, with its financial performance being monitored by the Queensland Audit Office and the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
The draft budget also shows the council is expected to generate a surplus of $19.2 million in 2018-2019, below the surplus projected in the current budget of $24.14m.
The proposed capital works program for the region for 2018-2019 is worth $45.73m, up $4.22m on the current year.
The council will soon commence public consultation on the new budget, due to be brought down in June.
In the meantime check out the draft budget at www.sdrc.qld.gov.au and click on ‘Council meetings’.