Coun­cil votes on 1.5pc rate rise pro­posal

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The City of Kar­ratha is propos­ing to pass on a 1.5 per cent rise to ratepay­ers for the 2017-18 financial year.

At last night’s coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil­lors voted nine-two in favour of putting the pro­posed new rates model out to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­fore mak­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

The in­crease would see the av­er­age res­i­den­tial house­hold pay an ex­tra $35 a year, while com­mer­cial premises would fork out an ex­tra $90 on av­er­age.

Pas­toral­ists would be slugged an ex­tra $399 on av­er­age while work­force ac­com­mo­da­tion rates rise by $3345 on av­er­age.

Across the board, the pro­posed rates rise varies from 0.53 per cent for strate­gic in­dus­try to 1.63 per cent for pas­toral.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the 1.6 per cent in­crease to res­i­den­tial ratepay­ers would likely be off­set by a dis­count to the rub­bish col­lec­tion fee.

“Over­all, we think the dol­lar fig­ure payable will ac­tu­ally go down slightly,” he said. “We have been go­ing lower and lower ev­ery year and we are a lot lower than other com­pa­ra­ble coun­cils. We can re­duce the rates, but the more we re­duce them the more we have to re­duce ser­vices.” Mr Long said ef­fi­ciency drives had en­abled the City to main­tain ser­vice lev­els with­out sig­nif­i­cant hikes in rates.

Cr Fiona White-Har­tig voted against the mo­tion, say­ing ratepay­ers were fed up with the cu­mu­la­tive rates rises over sev­eral years while prop­erty val­ues fell.

Cr Grant Cu­cel said the in­crease struck a fair bal­ance be­tween en­abling ser­vice pro­vi­sion and eas­ing financial bur­den to ratepay­ers.

Mr Long said feed­back from the pub­lic would be im­por­tant in shap­ing the fi­nal dif­fer­en­tial rates model brought back to the coun­cil ahead of the 2017/18 bud­get.

We can re­duce the rates, but the more we re­duce them the more we have to re­duce ser­vices. Peter Long

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