AFTER last month's Supreme Court judgement against Mackay Regional Council over its investor differential rates category, Mackay Mayor Deirdre Comerford was keen in her welcome of the state legislation changes on differential rating.
She said it clarified the matter and gave the council the ability to use a differential rating system.
Cr Comerford said it would enable the council to get on with the 2014-15 budget preparation, which had been in a holding pattern because of the uncertainty over the issue that also affected many other Queensland councils.
"We can continue to do what we do. It is a clarification of wording as the issue had been open to interpretation," she said.
The mayor confirmed the council would end its case against the Supreme Court judgement that found the council's decision to increase rates on non-owner occupied dwellings was invalid.
Cr Comerford said the council was being responsible to the community.
Mackay already had some of the highest rates in Queensland because it had just over 50,000 properties to rate.
She added that the council was grateful the government had responded in such a timely manner.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said the Supreme Court decision would have exposed ratepayers across Queensland to paying back several billion dollars.
Acknowledging the government acted quickly on the issue because of the huge financial implications for councils across the state, Mr Crisafulli said, "it was too scary a proposition in my mind".
He said he was not passing any judgement but allowing councils to have flexibility to make a decision they thought was right with regard to the differential rating system.
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