Claremont proposes 3.5 percent tariff increase as part of draft budget

The City of Claremont officials says inflationary pressures have prompted a modest rate hike to be needed in a draft budget that will allow for increased CCTV, support for small businesses amid COVID, and livestreaming of council meetings.

Claremont is the first of seven Western Suburbs municipalities to present its budget for a vote in the city council.

The proposed budget — which the council voted on Tuesday to send to public comment until June 14 — includes a tariff increase of 3.5 percent.

The increase amounts to an additional $46 for the average taxpayer.

Employees say the budget means rates are still “well below local inflation rates”.

Cr Paul Kelly said that with an inflation rate of about 7 percent, it was a “major achievement” to limit the increase to about half that.

“It’s a very modest increase,” he says.

The budget has an operating surplus of $4,615,313 and will invest just over $4.5 million “in renovation and additions to the city’s infrastructure.”

Most of this money will go toward transportation, including $968,000 for roads, $663,900 for footpaths, and $661,650 for parking lots and rights of way.

The city also budgets $530,000 for parks and the environment, $260,000 for drainage, and $808,500 for city buildings.

The draft budget proposes $201,000 for plant and equipment and $412,354 for electronic equipment.

The seven-day roster for community security officers will continue, and more locations will be covered by a further $100,000 investment in CCTV.

According to the staff report, it will fund the continuation of the city’s IT security program, software improvements, and the introduction of a web portal and online mapping.


During COVID, the city has held meetings via Zoom. Still, the budget will also upgrade the council chambers – including more cameras and better audio – so that the sessions can be live-streamed permanently.

The “night economy stimulus” initiative will continue, with $100,000 set aside to help businesses recover from COVID and “ensure a thriving city center.”

The budget also aims to reduce borrowings by more than $2.7 million and ensure a balanced the fiscal year 2022-23.

The city will continue to waive outdoor licensing fees to support businesses.

The budget reveals the city’s severe inflationary pressures, with operating expenses rising from nearly $19 million to almost $21.7 million from fiscal year to fiscal year ahead.

This includes $763,000 in additional personnel costs and $886,000 in other equipment and contract costs.

Claremont is ahead of other municipalities in the western suburbs in presenting the budget for consultation.

The City of Subiaco is expected to approve its draft budget sometime in July, and the City of Nedlands will likely adopt its budget in August.

The City of Cambridge will present its budget to the council at the end of this month before consultations begin. The city of Mosman Park has a special meeting at the end of June where it is expected to approve its budget.

The City Council of Cottesloe will likely consider approving the budget at its July meeting.

The Shire of Peppermint Grove will approve its budget by the end of this month.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.