RATES are expected to rise in the Shire of Mundaring.
The Shire’s rates yield in 2018-19 is expected to increase 3.1 per cent, which includes 0.5 per cent forecast growth from new dwellings.
Last year councillors rejected a 4 per cent rate hike and sent the finance team back to the drawing board before approving a 3 per cent rise.
Shire President John Daw said staff costs would be kept at a minimum with a 0.57 FTE increase as a result of savings and efficiencies created in other areas of the Shire.
“There will be an increase in library staffing and a reduction of the Tree Canopy Understorey Program,” he said.
“Factors impacting rates include State Government increases to electricity and water which has increased our budget for utilities by approximately $120,000.”
Rates Mundaring convenor John Bell applauded the council for identifying operational savings over the past two years.
“However to date we have failed to convince council to address the ever increasing staff and overhead costs,” he said.
“This is the elephant in the room and certainly the issue that resonates the most with our followers.
“The running of the organisation is the responsibility of the (chief executive) and council can not interfere directly but we do need our elected representatives to drive efficiency in the executive.
“There are glimmers of hope that they are starting to get the message but there is still a cabal of councillors who want to carry on as normal and just slug the ratepayers rather than looking for organisational efficiencies.
“Hopefully we can get some commitments from council to look at the overhead costs. just like any business.”
Big ticket items listed in the Shire’s corporate business plan include upgrading lighting at Mundaring Oval ($195,000) and resurfacing the hardcourts ($220,000).
Key strategy projects listed in the first two years include the development of recreation and public health plans, progressing the Mundaring Town Centre project, reviewing the control of weeds and developing a seniors housing land use strategy.
The Shire is expected to adopt this year’s budget at its next meeting on June 12.
Of 17 metropolitan councils that have advertised proposed rate increases, only cities of Melville (0.9 per cent) and Perth (0.8 per cent) and Town of Cottesloe (0.7 per cent) were below the rate of inflation.
City of Swan will advertise a proposed 1.8 per cent increase in rates, 0.7 per cent lower than last year.
Proposed rate increase by metro local governments
City of Nedlands 4%
City of Rockingham 3.6%
City of Kwinana 3.5%
Shire of Mundaring 3%
Town of Victoria Park 3%
City of Joondalup 2.95%
City of Wanneroo 2.95%
City of Fremantle 2.9%
City of East Fremantle 2.5%
City of Mandurah 2.4%
City of Kalamunda 2.1%
Claremont 1.9 per cent
Cockburn 1.9 per cent
City of Swan 1.8%
City of Melville 0.9%
City of Perth 0.8%
Town of Cottesloe 0.7%