Moreton Bay Regional Council will ask the State Government to conduct another valuation of properties in the region in coming months to take advantage of falling property prices.
The Council pays the State Department of Resources $1.5 million each year to carry out valuations, which then flow into rates calculations.
Finance and Corporate Services director Donna Gregory told this week’s council meeting the bill had to be paid whether the valuation was conducted or not.
“We provide our opinion only, so they (the Department of Resources) will make their own determination as to whether a valuation is undertaken or not,” Ms Gregory said
“We don’t get a final say in it.
“From our perspective it’s looking to get the most accurate valuation data we can on which to base the rates.”
Ms Gregory said there was merit in asking for a new valuation, because last year’s data was based on inflated property prices.
“There was a spike in the property market and there’s evidence that it’s starting to fall,” she said.
“I recommend that we write to the Department and recommend that a valuation occur.”
Cr Mick Gillam (Div 8) said he did not believe the market was stable enough to justify a re-evaluation.
|“My concern is that the market is very volatile,” he said.|
“The last valuation we got last year was when property prices were on the rise, not at their peak.
“Do we do another valuation while they’re still high?
“Would it be better to give it another year to level out, for the housing market to find out what it’s really doing, rather than us to get biased valuations which we’re going to be paying our rates on?”
Cr Adam Hain (Div 3) expressed concern about the timing of a valuation, saying families across the region were feeling the pinch
“I understand that we’re only offering our opinion – it’s up to (the department) whether they do it or not.
“But if they do do it, then our opinion was that they should do it and that’s what will come out to the public is that our opinion was that we should up the rates.
“Some could go down, but I don’t think so.
“The current pressures out they in the households that we’re hearing about on the radio and in the news every day.
|"It sort of doesn’t pass the pub test for me and I would rather just wait.”|
Ms Gregory said Council was obliged to factor new valuations into rates calculations.
“We have to put the latest valuation data in,” she said.
“There are going to be peaks and troughs depending on how people’s valuation compares to the average valuation in the region.”
Soften the impact
Mayor Peter Flannery said it could be prudent to conduct a new valuation.
“You can try and hide it for a few years but then that valuation’s going to have a further impact three or four years down the track,” he said.
“When they get one it’s a bigger jump again, so I think it’s completely out of our hands.
|“You’re better off having small increments going up than a huge one.”|
Cr Brooke Savige (Div 1) agreed.
“Whilst the market feels a little bit unstable at the moment, remember that the valuations are not scheduled until next year,” she said.
“So we have probably got six months for the market to level out.”
All councillors except Cr Gillam voted in favour of asking the Department of Resources to conduct a new valuation.
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