Beware the investment rate

John Wakeman wants to alert everyone to the different rate levels for owner occupiers in the Whitsunday area.
John Wakeman wants to alert everyone to the different rate levels for owner occupiers in the Whitsunday area.

JOHN Wakeman lives at North Gregory and owns his own home.

He has recently found out that, as an owner/occupier, he has been entitled to a different rate level because he lives in his home and it is not an investment property.

Now Mr Wakeman wants to make sure others are aware that they are entitled to a lower rate level if their property is their principal place of residence.

It was only recently, while discussing rates with a neighbour that he found out that he was paying a higher rate.

He said he had since found other people who were in the same situation.

“The only way I found out was I compared my rates notice to the people two houses down,” Mr Wakeman said.

“The other day I was having coffee in town with four other householders and three of them said they were getting charged investment rates.”

Mr Wakeman said the difference is about $100.

“I don’t want to get ripped off and then see my money wasted,” he said.

Mr Wakeman said he was told the letters ‘INV’ on his rates notice stood for investment.

“I thought it meant invoice,” he said.

“It is supposed to say ‘RES’.”

The policy of different rate levels for owner/occupiers and investors has been in place for almost three years.

Council has recently advertised that owner/occupiers are entitled to a lower differential rate and those eligible can apply through Council.

Mr Wakeman said he had complained about his rates in the past but had never been told about the different rates.

The policy was adopted by the previous Whitsunday Shire Council in July, 2007.

The rate difference only applies to the southern region of the council.

Mr Wakeman said he wanted to notify other homeowners about the policy so they were paying the right level. Owner occupier application forms are available from Council’s Customer Service Centre in Proserpine or from Council’s web site – Any enquiries should be directed to the Council on 4945 0213.

Whitsunday Regional Council CEO John Finlay was unable to be contacted on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

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