THE Town of Bassendean has settled on a 1 per cent rate rise, just days before the State Government’s deadline.
Councillors voted unanimously at a special council meeting Tuesday night to adopt the draft 2019-20 budget.
The Town had until the end of the month to adopt its budget, following approval of the differential rates from Local Government Minister David Templeman.
Vacant property owners will pay differential rates as adopted by the council last month.
The differential rate for vacant industrial, commercial and non-residential land is 14.5 cents in the dollar with a minimum rate of $1800, as per the gross rental value of each property.
Vacant residential property owners will pay 8 cents in the dollar with a minimum rate of $1200.
There are 188 vacant properties that will be affected by the differential rates.
All other properties will pay a minimum rate of $1106.
The Town expects to generate $13.4 million in rates revenue this year.
It will spend $6.1 million on capital works, $26 million on operating expenses and put $1.2 million into a new reserves fund for IT infrastructure and future projects.
Councillor Kath Hamilton’s amendment to increase parking fees for the Town’s Australia Day event from $10 to $20 was defeated.
Cr Wilson gained support for amendments to include a list of projects and funding allocations in the budget and to develop a reserve fund with money unused at the end of the financial year for emergency situations.
He also moved an amendment to exclude line items for commercial in confidence for future tenders.
Mayor Renee McLennan said the budget included new grants for community events, the three-bin system and a green trail.
“The budget was adopted later than usual due to the broad consultation that the Town conducted on the differential rating proposal,” she said.
“We have already seen many fundamental changes that represent a shift in our way of working and which will deliver value for money for our ratepayers.
“We are conscious that some members of our community are under particular financial pressure.
“We encourage you to get in touch with our rates officers so that we can work with you to develop a plan that is manageable for your situation.”
She thanked new staff members including corporate services director Paul White who worked hard on the budget.
Cr John Gangell said while he supported the budget, he was still uncomfortable with the differential rates.
The council previously adopted a 0.9 per cent rate rise in 2018-19 and a 2.5 per cent rate rise in 2017-18.
Rates are due on October 11 or can be paid by instalments until April 2020.
For information, visit www.yoursay.bassendean.wa.gov.au