WILSON resident Bill Prince knows his maths and has a few questions for the City of Canning about its recent rate rise.
He wants to know why council decided to put rates up and increase the financial pressures on local households in tough economic times.
Mr Prince, a qualified mathematician, said council had failed to adequately explain why this year’s minimum rate was increased by 3.46 per cent and the average rates by 2.8 per cent.
“They need to explain why the increases are happening,” he said. “There needs to be more consideration for the people they represent.
“There are a lot of people struggling to pay their bills.”
Mr Prince said 17 of 23 metropolitan councils that had reported their rates had set lower increases than Canning.
“Our increase is higher than 74 per cent of the other councils who have completed their budgets,” he said.
A City spokesman said Canning residents would continue to pay some of the lowest rates in the metropolitan area.
He said the increase in rates was an additional $26 for the average ratepayer.
“This compares favourably with councils that had a lower percentage increase but a higher dollar value rate,” the spokesman said. “For example, one council had an increase of 2 per cent that equated to an average increase of $43.”
But Mr Prince urged council to consider financial stresses placed on households by State and Federal governments when setting annual rates.
He said when increases in State Government charges, such as electricity, gas and emergency services, were added to the City’s minimum rate increase, Canning pensioners could expect to pay an extra $6.53 per fortnight.
“For a number of years now, I have said that the three levels of government who apparently act in isolation should act together,” he said.
Mr Prince said previous Canning councils had tried to keep rates low.
“I believe they tried to keep the rates low because they recognised the demographics of the City particularly in East Cannington, Queens Park and Bentley,” he said.
“There are not a lot of rich people in those areas.”
He said since the dismissal of the former Canning council in late 2012, the minimum annual rate rise had increased alarmingly. From 2014 to 2017, the minimum rate had three increases close to 10 per cent and one of 15 per cent, he said.