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Somerset council increases rates in 2021-22 Budget

Somerset_Mayor_Graeme_Lehmann.jpg
Somerset rates bills are set to increase by 1.5 percent after the region's Mayor Graeme Lehmann (pictured above) handed down the council's $41 million Budget yesterday. 
Mayor Lehmann said that council  settled on the rate increase for owner occupiers on the minimum general rate with reductions in the rate as a percentage of land valuations across all but five rating categories.
He said that council had worked hard to improve the 2021/22 Budget for the past 12 months. 
 "We knew we couldn't sustain operating losses like we incurred in 2020 in the long term and we've been working to cut our cost and get new revenue every council meeting and this Budget is an accumulation of that hard work."   
Somerset Council is  currently running at a  deficit of $100,000 but  according to the Mayor they are comfortable with the size of that operating deficit. 
Ratepayers can also expect to  pay more for the Environmental  Pest levy during 2021/22 .
The levy is used by council to fight environmental and agricultural pests such as lantana 
The environmental pest levy will increase from $20 to $41.50 .   
This financial year, Somerset Council  will also pour money into projects like upgrades of the Lower Minden Road and the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, developing trails at Mount Glenrock at Esk and Moore.  
Mayor Lehmann said this funding will be used on a mixture of projects  to improve road safety, productivity and  recreation. 
More details on the Budget can be found on the council's website at https://www.somerset.qld.gov.au/budget .  
(Photo: Supplied.)