Community Update # 7
Thank you for your submissions to the proposed Special Rate Variation
Council understands that it is a difficult consideration to increase land rates. The impact has been carefully studied and guided the proposal for rating increases across all rate categories.
OPTION 1 – Maintain service levels – Special Rate Variation + rate peg
COUNCIL is considering applying for a single year permanent overall increase to its land rating revenue of 44.5%, including an assumed rate peg of 2.5%. Council is committed to limiting the land rates increase, however, to 26.5% for the residential, business and farm rating categories. Mines, quarries and power generators would have rates increases above 26.5%. Any additional rating would apply from 1 July 2023.
This Option would provide $6m additional revenue annually and would be allocated to addressing modelled and anticipated future deficits as follows:
• Transport maintenance and renewal – $3.2m
• Buildings maintenance and renewal – $1.2m
• Stormwater drainage maintenance and renewal – $566,000
• Economic transition – $500,000
• Governance and strategy capacity – $250,000
• Capacity building – improve productivity – $250,000
• Contingency for financial shocks – $250,000.
OPTION 2 – Reduce service levels – rate peg only
Another option being considered would see Council develop a plan to reduce funding of non-essential services. This option involves no increase beyond the amount permitted each year to preserve Council’s overall rating in real terms. Council anticipates this increase will be around 2.5%.
As this option does not deliver the additional funding required to meet existing service levels, including overcoming future modeled deficits AND addressing an infrastructure backlog to maintain / renew roads and other infrastructure sustainably into the future, there will be the need to REDUCE service levels. A current gap of approximately $4.7M per year will grow in future periods. This option will require extensive community consultation to shape how to reduce infrastructure and services to match available revenues.
Under this option Council will recommend the maintenance of essential services over more discretionary services. The reductions would occur for non-essential services. This plan would be developed and finalised with extensive community consultation.
In early October, Micromex Consulting will be conducting a random telephone survey of a broad cross section of the community. We encourage you to take the time to tell us your thoughts on the two options for a sustainable future.
What are the Next Steps?