Council defends rate levy

Council has defended the need for a levy to pay for the Mitchell MPHS attached to the hospital.
Council has defended the need for a levy to pay for the Mitchell MPHS attached to the hospital.

MARANOA Council has defended its decision to enforce a one-off levy of $186 on each rate notice to help pay for the Mitchell Multi Purpose Health Service (MPHS).

Mitchell Retirement Village auxiliary spokesman Rob Cornish has questioned why the MPHS was singled out for the levy while bigger Council-funded operations such as the airport were not.

Maranoa Mayor Rob Loughnan said the Roma Airport was a commercial operation which could generate its own financial surpluses to offset capital costs.

"The projected revenue from the Roma Airport exceeds the facility's operational costs with departing and arriving passenger numbers continuing to increase," Cr Loughnan said.

"Therefore, a levy is not needed to pay for that facility."

Cr Loughnan said a survey last year found 74% of local residents supported the proposal for Council to fully fund the project through either a special rating scheme or through the delaying of some projects.

"The Maranoa Retirement Village Auxiliary was consulted about the wording of the survey and successfully negotiated several changes," he said.

"The benefit of (the levy) is that Council will not need to defer commencement of other much needed capital projects required across the region this financial year."

Council hired Market Facts to conduct a telephone survey of 600 residents in September last year.

The survey showed 74% of respondents were in favour, 12% against while the other 14% said
they didn't know. 

A second question directed to Booringa residents found 83% of people favoured a special area benefited
charge to ratepayers of the Mitchell area to fund the project.

Meanwhile Maranoa Council  CEO Julie Reitano said Council would announce next week when it would issue rates notices.

"As part of Council's 2012/13 budget, all land has been re-categorised to ensure rates for all land uses in the same category across the region are charged on the same basis," Ms Reitano said.

"Over the past few months Council has been working hard to ensure all parcels of land across the Maranoa are placed in the newly created land categories in preparation for the issue of Council's half yearly rates.

"While this is a complex and time-consuming process, we are completing it as quickly as possible."

Topics:  maranoa council mitchell mphs

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