CITY of Melville could achieve its lowest rate increase in the past 20 years, at just 0.9 per cent, if the rate is adopted by councillors at a special budget meeting on June 26.
The recommended increase compares favourably to other metropolitan councils with not many having an increase under 1 per cent.
Chief executive Shayne Silcox said the recommended rate increase in the dollar would be the result of many hard decisions and long-term strategies put in place to achieve the “best possible result for ratepayers”.
“The 0.9 per cent rate increase, which equates to 1.2 per cent for an average residential property, well below the level of inflation, has not been achieved easily but it is the outcome the City has been working towards for a number of years,” he said.
“Many of our neighbouring local governments are in the growth phase with developing commercial areas to raise rates revenue, however the challenge for Melville is that we are an established and built out City in a phase where many of our $1 billion worth of assets are ageing and must now be renewed and refit for purpose.
“Significantly, 80 per cent of our rates income is generated from residential properties only, meaning that private citizens are largely responsible for meeting the costs of maintaining the City’s vast infrastructure, assets, amenities and services, so we have actively sought to create alternative revenue streams.”
Dr Silcox said long-term financial modelling had been a key strategy for the City, in which they aimed to maintain a negligible level of debt.
“In the City of Melville and across Australia in general we have a fantastic lifestyle, however maintaining this lifestyle with ever increasing costs comes at a price,” he said.
“We are doing everything we can to manage this well, balancing the needs of a community of 100,000 plus residents today against the cost of living, and in the longer term leaving a positive legacy for our children and grandchildren.”