Rates could go up if disaster funds are cut, say councils

RESIDENTS across Queensland could face rate hikes if the federal government chooses to cut its funding for natural disasters repairs, the head of a council lobby group says.

The Local Government Association of Queensland and the state government oppose a Productivity Commission recommendation for the federal government to reduce its contribution from 75 per cent of disaster repair bills to 50 per cent.

Councils receive federal assistance if the damage bill is more than $240,000, but the threshold could rise to $2 million if the recommendations are adopted.

The cost would be passed on to state governments and councils, a move that LGAQ president Margaret De Wit said could severely impact smaller municipalities.

She said councils were finding it difficult to prepare their 2015/16 budgets without knowing what adjustments would be needed to make up the shortfall for disaster repairs.

Read more at Brisbane Times