Launceston rates to rise 2.5%

LAUNCESTON home owners will receive a 2.5 per cent rate rise from next month.

Aldermen yesterday reluctantly moved a motion to increase council property rates, which will take rates on a residential property worth $270,000 to $1415, which is $58 more than what was paid this financial year.

In discussing the rise, Alderman Robin McKendrick flagged a suggestion that the council should investigate a differential flat rate system, like that applied on Brighton Council ratepayers.

He said he had been told by the council that there had been no registered complaints since the system was introduced in 2007.

Alderman McKendrick said the council should pursue ``full, earnest and in-depth'' investigation of the rating system before 2015-16 rates were adopted.

Alderman Rosemary Armitage labelled AAV rating a wealth tax and said people should not be penalised for improving and raising the value of their home.

Alderman Rob Soward said former local government minister Bryan Green missed the opportunity to change council rating systems, which meant that there would be no uniformity across councils when and if charging methods were changed.

Alderman Tony Peck said there would be a negative component to whatever rating model was used.

He said the 2.5 per cent rise was not as high as the council's consumer price index, and residential rates were good value for money in terms of the facilities and services offered in the municipality.

Alderman Hugh McKenzie said the rate rise was a moderate and appropriate increase.

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