My name is Ayril Paton.
You may have seen in media, that myself and a group of 400 supporters took Mackay Regional Council to the supreme court over the introduction of an "Investor Rate Category". The council were charging extra rates on any residential property, that was not the rate payers primary place of residence.
We were successful in our challenge, with the judge ruling:
– "The council impermissibly took into account characteristics personal to the owners of the land and failed to restrict itself to characteristics of the subject land itself".
– "Making the decision to adopt the differential rating categories was an improper exercise of the power conferred on the respondent under the Local Government Act".
– "The council’s resolution, by which it made and levied a differential general rate should be set aside, as should the various rates notices issued".
The judges ruling has sent many councils into a frenzies, with the precedent having affect on twenty councils through out Queensland. Mackay Regional Council will have to refund, illegally taken rates of approximately $1.6 million, for the introduction of the "Investor Rate Category" for one year only. The illegal differential rating scam has had a cost to rate payers across Queensland reported to run into $300 million per year.
The "Local Government Association of Queensland" has stepped in and brought their barristers, launching an appeal against the judges ruling. They have not brought any new argument, only that they do not agree with the judge’s ruling. We are willing to fight the council in the appeals court and our barrister is still very confident that judge McMeekin made the correct ruling in the first place. The LGAQ have also stated that they have contacted the Local Government State Minister to have legislation changed, I have contacted the minister’s office and they verified that they have not received any such requests.
We have only one problem!!!!
Funding of the appeal legal costs. The generous contributions by our 400 supporters has been exhausted in the initial court trial and the refund from the council, both for court costs awarded and returning of legally taken rates is being held up, with the council stating that the matter is now in appeal and no monies will be returned. This in itself is a breach of the court order.
We need your help to get this message to as many rate payers as possible.
Now with the knowledge that "we can win this fight" and that a judge has already ruled in our favor. We request that rate payers that will benefit from this ruling help us fight the council. We are asking for a contribution of $100 each to fund the legal costs. This is a small cost when you take into account the savings of not having to pay the higher rating category ever again. Our solicitor, Greg Smart from SR Wallace and Wallace Lawyers (Ph 0749632000) has set up a trust fund account for the collection of contributions. I have attached a form with the payment options available. We require people making a contribution to quote the case number "GJS:147545 followed by their name" and contact SR Wallace and Wallace Lawyers with your contact details. This is to allow for accurate accounting of funds, to allow for the return of supporters money if we are successful in the court. Our solicitor is also requesting for 100% refund of legal costs from the council, as we have already had a judge rule in our favor and the case has an effect on so many people. If we are successful, we are hoping to be able to return all of the supporters contributions. (less a small accounting cost) Please also send an email to mkyinvestorrates acknowledging that you have made a contribution to the trust fund and I will add you to my database for updates as we progress.
It is very important that people support us in this fight. If you do not, it will be giving the councils a green light to rip us off with any other scam they can come up with. (building height levy, window tax, toilet pedestal levy)
Please contact me if you have any concerns or require further information.