Fiscal discipline required, councillors told
COTTESLOE Council has been told it cannot have low rates rises, maintain its assets and keep rises below 3.5 per cent.
“Low rate increases with cuts to operating or asset management obligations are not sustainable, but neither are budgets that continue to raise rates well above the level of inflation,” a staff report told councillors when they adopted the 2016-17 budget.
The report said if fiscal discipline was maintained, the council’s financial outlook was “very positive” because of healthy reserves and a high level of operational efficiency.
The pressure to keep rate rises low has raised concerns about the impact on maintenance and building new infrastructure in the long term across local government.
The budget raised the minimum rates for all types of properties 3.5 per cent, resulting in a 2.6 per cent increase for most homes.
The $9.1 million windfall sale of the council’s works depot in 2013 continues to fund vital works including the forthcoming foreshore plan, new beach paths and beach terrace improvements.