Coun­cil­lors vote for lower rates rise

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The Shire of Ex­mouth will have to look for cost sav­ings af­ter adopt­ing a smaller rates in­crease in its 2016-17 bud­get be­cause of a com­mu­nity back­lash over its ini­tial pro­posal.

In the draft bud­get, it was pro­posed to cap the max­i­mum in­crease for any prop­erty at 10 per cent with an av­er­age rise of 4.8 per cent across the six cat­e­gories. But af­ter re­ceiv­ing 25 sub­mis­sions and a pe­ti­tion signed by 103 res­i­dents, coun­cil­lors agreed unan­i­mously to pass a smaller rates rise at a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing this month.

Improved prop­erty in­creases will now be capped at 5 per cent and unim­proved prop­er­ties will re­main at 10 per cent.

Shire pres­i­dent Turk Shales said the rates model was the re­sult of a memo from the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment to re­duce the num­ber of rates cat­e­gories, which pre­vi­ously sat at 11.

“The com­mu­nity voiced an opin­ion that said (rates) were too high so we ... re­duced those rates by more than half,” he said.

“No one will lose their job but we will be hav­ing to prob­a­bly do some cost cut­ting in lit­tle ar­eas, but I can as­sure you this town will be as beau­ti­ful as it is now in the fu­ture.”

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