THE City of Melville is recommending a 2 per cent rate increase as it looks to raise an additional $1.6 million from ratepayers in 2017-18.
If adopted by councillors, the increase would net rate revenue of $85.4 million for the 2017-18 financial year, up from $83.8 million in 2016-17.
The modest hike comes despite a big increase in capital works expenditure, which is tipped to come in at $34.9 million in the next financial year as the City embarks on major infrastructure projects.
Close to $13 million is earmarked for work on council-owned buildings, headlined by $7.3 million for the Tompkins Park upgrade, $1.6m to refurbish and upgrade LesiureFit Melville and $850,000 to overhaul AH Bracks Library. The City will also spend $9.1m on general road resurfacing, $2.5m for remediation works at John Connell Reserve and $1.6m for replacement of plant and vehicles.
It spent just $23.6m on capital works last financial year.
To negate the impact on rates, the City plans to make a net withdrawal of about $4.7m from its $30.2m Land and Property Reserve Fund.
The City of Melville uses a differential general rates scheme based on land use. Annual rates charges are calculated as a percentage of the gross rental value of properties, with waste and security charges added on top.
According to the City of Melville’s 2017-18 ratepayer profile, the proposed 2 per cent increase to the rate in the dollar for residential properties means the average rate charge will increase by $34 to $1688.
The City of Melville collects 80 per cent of its rates from residential properties but in recent times has placed an emphasis on expanding its commercial and industrial rate base.
Councillors will vote on formally adopting the 2017-18 budget at a special council meeting on June 22.