Queensland councils believe investors should pay higher rates than owner-occupiers and will challenge a court ruling that banned this discrimination.
Queensland’s local councils are appealing over a court decision that banned a regional council from discriminating against investors.
Mackay Regional Council faces a $1.6 million refund bill after 300 landlords this week successfully won a Supreme Court challenge to a situation where investors paid an average of $250 a year more in rates than owner-occupiers.
But the Local Government Association of Queensland is joining an appeal against that decision with the north Queensland council, arguing Justice Duncan McMeekin’s decision had implications for other councils.
“Many councils presently use the differential rating power to categorise residential land based on whether it is used as a principal place of residence, or for investment purposes,” the association’s Greg Hallam said in a statement on Friday.
“The court’s decision needs to be appealed to properly test the limits of the differential rating power in this regard.”
The investors last year launched a challenge against Mackay council’s new Investor Residential Rating category, after it became the 12th council in Queensland to charge investors more in rates.