There's no ending the great rate debate

A steadily growing population is putting pressure on roads, footpaths, parks, libraries and beaches.
A steadily growing population is putting pressure on roads, footpaths, parks, libraries and beaches.

I have followed Leader letters concerning a modest increase in rates for people owning units and other strata-titled properties.

As a senior couple living in a free standing home my wife and I completely agree that the financial load in maintaining our shire should be spread a little more evenly. In our later years it is becoming increasingly expensive to remain independent.

Previous strata dwelling commentators have tried to have us believe that if numerous units are built (e.g the brick pit site) and owners and investors are paying the minimum rate of $602 per annum - it's windfall for council.

This is a self serving myth peddled for years. The cost to council, and all of us, lies in a steadily growing population using facilities including our roads, footpaths, parks, libraries and beaches. It is the increasing number of residents rather than the increasing number of rateable properties which increases demand for these services.

Robert May in his letter (March 6) tells us the 'five homes (prior to his unit being built) would have attracted $602 per house minimum rate as well. We are then told "this is only a money grabbing exercise from council".

Really? Are we to believe that council does not have any identified purpose for the revenue or any real method of accounting for it, for example its annual budget.

Many of us wanting to remain in our detached homes suffer regular rate increases which far exceed those faced by strata dwellers, further increasing the disparity between the per person contribution of detached residents and that of strata residents.

The present system is grossly unfair to owners of non-strata residences.

Shane Burke, Kirrawee

I have read the many letters from unit owners about the proposed rate change. All seem to say we were built on four or more blocks and the rates should stay the same. A unit block increases the council work by many factors. A single house has a limited amount of waste. Can the unit owners explain why this change to the rate isn't right? Doesn't it level the field?

Paul Foley, Caringbah South