Website allows ratepayers to make State comparisons
Residents in Rockingham are now able to compare their residential rates with those in Kwinana and Mandurah, after the launch of a new website from the WA Local Government Association.
In a WA first, residents can compare their rates with any other council in the State through the knowyourcouncil.com website.
According to data from the website, Rockingham’s average residential rates in 2015 were $1418.41, while Kwinana’s were slightly more at $1421.07
Mandurah’s average residential rates were the highest of the three, according to the data, at $1508.99.
According to WALGA president Lynne Craigie, the new tool is designed to give ratepayers clarity on their residential rates and how they are calculated. She also said some local governments had raised concerns over the website.
“It is important ratepayers are able to make an accurate assessment of how their residential rates compare on average, both in the amount paid and the annual percentage increases, to provide a clear understanding of their individual situation,” Cr Craigie said.
“In regard to rates, the issue that councils raised in regard to the recently created State Government site was that it presented information that could easily be misinterpreted by the general public.”
Rates growth information on the site refers to the annual increase of total rates revenue for each council and should not be confused as a rates increase for individual households.
At the City of Rockingham’s council meeting in May, councillors voted in favour of a moderate 4 per cent increase in rates in 201617. Rather than sticking to a 5 per cent increase, Mayor Barry Sammels used his vote to split a 4-4 decision in favour of the lower increase.
Independent financial analysts RJ Back and Associates were commissioned to provide the information on rates.