Right rates direction
THE rate rise in South Perth has been set below the Local Government Cost Index (LGCI) for the first time in eight years.
The council voted 7-2 in endorsing its budget for this financial year, adopting a 1.6 per cent rate increase.
Councillor Greg Milner, who was elected last October on a promise to do everything in his power to encourage rates relief for residents, said at the meeting he felt the budget this year was a step in the right direction.
He commended City officers for their hard work and attempts to get City finances on track for ratepayers.
“This budget sees a rate increase below the national CPI increase of 1.9 per cent for the year ending March 2018, and it is below the national average wage growth of 2 per cent for the same period,” he said.
“Before this budget, the average yearly rate rise over the last eight years was 4.8 per cent.
“This budget brings that down to one-third of that average and delivers for all the South Perth businesses, families and residents who voted last year to keep rates low.”
City of South Perth Residents Association chairwoman Cecilia Brooke was encouraged the council had set rates loosely aligned with inflation.
She said the group wanted the council to continue that practice by looking to further reduce expenditure by identifying operational efficiencies within its processes.
Ms Brooke also praised councillors for being prepared to ask difficult questions about the City’s cost structure and the way ratepayers’ money was spent.