Rates cut af­ter coun­cil stoush

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

TOWN of Mos­man Park coun­cil­lors op­posed to a 3.4 per cent rates rise to bol­ster re­serve funds cut it to 2.4 per cent be­fore adopt­ing the Town’s 2016-17 bud­get this week.

“We’re tak­ing about a $14.2 mil­lion bud­get and I don’t un­der­stand how with this mi­nor change we are sud­denly talk­ing about what will bring down the Town of Mos­man Park, if not the whole of western sub­urbs,” Cr Brett Pollock said.

Cr Pollock said with the Perth CPI at 0.7 per cent a 2.4 per cent rates in­crease was “more than enough”.

He said the lower rise’s ef­fect on coun­cil in­come could be ac­com­mo­dated by us­ing $150,000 from the re­serves in the mid-year bud­get re­view and it would also have less im­pact on res­i­dents’ rates bills.

“At the stroke of a pen we can save $60,000 for a struc­ture plan, be­cause why are we spend­ing $60,000 over the quote?” Cr Zenda John­son said. She also ques­tioned a $29,000 rise in the bud­get for work on the memo­rial hall’s roof, up from $40,000 al­lo­cated in 2015-16, and $105,000 for doors in the next 12 months.

Mayor Ron Nor­ris and Cr An­drew Mau­rice ar­gued for the 3.4 per cent rise, which oth­ers called an “un­ac­cept­able bur­den” on ratepay­ers.

“Well that’s what ratepay­ers are for, as they are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of what work the coun­cil does and they re­cover that in the in­creases in the val­ues of the homes they own,” Mr Nor­ris said.

Cr Mau­rice said the in­crease re­flected the coun­cil’s poor rev­enue base while it had sig­nif­i­cant spend­ing on parks and re­serves and would rep­re­sent a $30 in­crease in the av­er­age home’s an­nual rates.

He and Mr Nor­ris op­posed the 2.4 per cent in­crease, which will re­duce rates rev­enue by $83,538 and cut a trans­fer into the in­fra­struc­ture re­serve by the same amount.

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