CITY of Perth will cut its operating expenditure by $4.4 million this financial year, enabling it to keep rates increases at 1.5 per cent despite falling revenue.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the City had overhauled its finances to reflect a “modest” rate rise in 2017-18, while producing a $60.4 million capital works budget and reducing operating expenditure by 2.3 per cent.
“In a year characterised by consolidation, we have been working hard to ensure the City of Perth remains in a position to enhance our quality of service over the coming years,” she said.
“Our priorities include investing in major infrastructure and developments; creating integrated transport options; positioning the City as a centre of business excellence; attracting people to live in the City; facilitating a robust night-time economy; and fostering a healthy lifestyle with our natural and cultural assets.”
Last financial year the City’s revenue from parking was significantly lower than had been projected, reflecting a downturn in business in the city.
In the eight months to the end of February, the City’s parking revenue was $48.4 million; $2,168,000 below budget, with the 2016-17 take forecast to be $5.3 million less than originally budgeted.
In 2017-18, key investment areas include a $7.6 million upgrade to the Perth Concert Hall, almost $6 million on streetscape improvements, $4.5 million on transport, $4.3 million on event sponsorship, $3.2 million on rangers services, CCTV and safety bollards, and just under $4 million on parks and “place enhancement”.
The City has allocated $18 million for paying the State Government’s parking levy, $910,000 for the State’s landfill levy, and $528,000 for the emergency services levy.
Landgate valuations have determined a significant reduction in gross rental values, impacting the City’s rate-setting.
The City of Melville also increased its rates by 1.5 per cent.
By comparison, other councils have seen the following rate increases: Swan 3 per cent; Gosnells 2.5 per cent; Mandurah 1.9 per cent; Vincent 2.7 per cent; Rockingham 3 per cent, Bayswater 4.9 per cent and Joondalup 1.95 per cent.
City of Perth Rate structure
Commercial – 5.51929 cents in the dollar
Office – 4.51513 cents in the dollar
Residential – 5.69477 cents in the dollar
Vacant Land – 6.20898 cents in the dollar