Councillors vote for lower rates rise
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.”