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Council announces water levy changes

Charters Towers Regional Council will introduce changes to how water is levied.

Announcing the changes, Mayor Liz Schmidt said the altered levy system is being introduced to achieve a fairer way of spreading water costs among ratepayers.

“This is essentially moving towards a user pays system of how water is charged,” Cr Schmidt said.

“Council has been working with an experienced contractor on these changes for quite some time and now we are in a position to move forward with the changes.

“A two-part tariff for levying water will be introduced across the region. All non-residential properties will be levied under this tariff from 1 July 2017 while residential property owners will have a choice to remain on the current allocation tariff or move to the two-part tariff.”

Council is in the process of an extensive letter mail out to property owners that explains the two-part tariff and the options available.

The change will be effective for water used from June 2017 following meter readings this month.

Cr Schmidt said it was important owners of both residential and non-residential properties understand there are potential cost benefits with the changes.

“On a standard residential property, low water users will save money on the two-part tariff if less than 390 kilolitres per year is used,” she said.

“For levy forecasts based on 2015-16 usage and depending on choices made by residential property owners, under the new levy system, 76 per cent of properties will be levied less while 24 per cent of properties will be levied more.” 

The 24 per cent represents the high users, who have been subsidised by the former flat allocation levy which saw low users paying for water they did not use.  The tariff changes introduce choices for high users should they choose to reduce their usage and therefore save money.

However it is important for residential property owners to note that annual water allocations are reducing for all residential properties who remain on the allocation tariff.

In the rural townships annual allocations will be reduced from 960 to 800 kilolitres whilst in Charters Towers, the annual allocation will be reduced from 900 to 800 kilolitres.

Residential property owners who choose to remain on the residential allocation tariff, no action is required.

For residential property owners who choose to move to the two-part tariff, the Council information mail out will include a response form that must be returned to Council in the reply paid envelope provided.

Council has set up an inquiry hotline at 07 4761 5500. This hotline will receive messages. Property owners can also make an inquiry via email at mail@charterstowers.qld.gov.au. When making an inquiry, you are requested to provide your name, telephone number and property address. A response via either method of inquiry is guaranteed within four working hours.

Tariff amounts will be adopted at Council’s 2017-18 budget meeting in July, however a proposed tariff table can be found here.

MG 1 June 2017

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