The COVID-19 rate postponement is over, with metropolitan councils testing the waters for a rate hike this year, including the city of Victoria Park, which is proposing a 4.6 percent hike for its taxpayers.
Victoria Park councilors have already made the proposed rate increase for owners of the residential, non-residential, and vacant land public for comment.
It’s a huge increase compared to the city’s 2021-22 fiscal year, with an approved 0.88 percent rate increase.
Bassendean city councilors agreed at a meeting last week to advertise a proposed 4 percent rate increase for residential properties to public comment. Commercial, industrial, and vacant landowners pay a slightly higher dollar rate.
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The rate of the dollar rise is considerably higher than last year, namely only 1.4 percent. The Council also introduced a higher differential rate for undeveloped properties to encourage the development of vacant lots as part of its 2021-22 budget.
“The rates proposed in this document are necessary to enable the city to meet its current and future obligations and to continue operain a financisustainablyanner,” said a city report.
Camera iconTown of Bassendean administration center Credit: Town of Bassendean
According to the report, the proposed rate increases are toward the “bottom of increases planned by other surrounding metropolitan municipalities.”
Last week, Belmont city councilors agreed to comment on a proposed 3.5 percent rate increase for residential, commercial, and industrial property owners.
The increase is substantial compared to the 2021-22 financial year, when the municipality committed to increasing interest rates by 1.75 percent.
A city report said several factors were considered in determining the proposed rate increase, including costs that are growing at a “rapid pace.”
“The city has faced increases in new construction costs as much as 60 percent higher than estimated,” it said.
“Supply constraints in materials and labor continue to put upward pressure on prices, with government stimulus packages putting further pressure on supply costs.
“The current development in the international markets has increased the price of fuel, transport, and freight costs.”
The city of Perth agreed at its meeting on Tuesday to publish a 1 percent increase in residential rates, 0.50 percent commercial rates, 0.50 percent retail rates, 0.50 percent hotel rates, and office rates for public advertising, By 1 percent.
Camera IconCity of Perth council house Credit: AAP
“The city is aware of the importance of minimizing rate increases while ensuring that its services and projects can be delivin a financisustainablyanner,” said a city spokesperson.
Councilor Brent Fleeton said it was the first time he had moved a budget with a rate increase and that he had “done his research” to justify it.
He said the city used all of the proceeds from the tariffs to pay for the six largest cost increases, including insurance, parking charges, fuel, power, the increase in the staff super guarantee, and software licenses.
“We don’t take more tariffs than we need to do new or redundant things – these are cost increases that we’re dealing with in the day-to-day operations of this local government,” he said.
“What we’re advertising to our stakeholders and taxpayers now, we can confidently go out there and say we’ve saved as much as possible, and with these cost increases and the money we’re saving in the long run — this is a good budget.”
Cr Sandy Anghie said she did not support the rate increase, even though it was minor in every category.
“The rate hike is $1.2 million, and while I trust our Chief Financial Officer and his judgment, I think there could have been more savings from my point of view…” she said.
The Perth City Council approved a zero-percent rate increase and no increases in parking fees for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, acknowledging that residents and taxpayers “were struggling with COVID-19”.
The City of Vincent will review its proposed differential rates for the fiscal year 2022-2023 at a special council meeting on June 7. The report will be available to the public on June 3.
The City of South Perth City Council and City Staff are still in workshops to formulate the 2022-23 budget, and no rate decision has been made.
“The next council meeting is scheduled for June 28, where the draft budget will be presented to the council for consideration,” said a city spokeswoman.
“The documents for this meeting will be available three days before the Agenda Briefing to be held on June 21.”
South Perth taxpayers faced a modest 1 percent rate hike in the fiscal year 2021-2022.
Bayswater and Stirling’s councils have yet to pass rate hikes, with Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin saying rates could rise between 2.5 and 4 percent.