MELVILLE councillors have approved a 2.45 per cent rate rise as part of the formal adoption of the City’s 2016-17 budget.
Rate revenue for the 2016-17 financial year increased by $3.1 million to $83.8 million, a combination of the rate hike and predicted and actual growth in the rate base.
Annual rates are calculated as a percentage of the gross rental value (GRV) of properties, with a typical residential property in the City of Melville calculated at an annual GRV of $25,454 per annum or approximately $489 per week.
In 2015-2016 the rates, waste and security charges using this example were a combined $1599.
In 2016-2017, the combined charges levied on the same property would be $1650, an increase of $51.
The modest rate increase comes on the back of a 15 per cent reduction in the capital works program to $23.6 million as well as a slight drop in operating expenditure to $101.2 million.
The capital expenditure program is highlighted by $5.7 million for general road resurfacing and $3.1 million for work on council-owned buildings, including $1.5 million to refurbish and upgrade LeisureFit Melville.
A further $1.7 million will be spent replacing plant and vehicles, $900,000 on new and replacement footpaths and $800,000 is earmarked for the renewal of playgrounds.
Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the City had worked hard to ensure rate increases were as low as possible and balanced with the ongoing delivery of community services and responsible management of $1.2 billion dollars in assets.
“In this budget we have also progressed our goal to achieve intergenerational equity, which means ensuring we are not creating liabilities for future generations by deferring them today,” Dr Silcox said.
“When we defer liabilities and fail to adequately fund the maintenance and renewal of our assets, we are actually reducing the City’s long term financial sustainability, and we are simply not prepared to leave this burden for our children.”
Councillors were originally eyeing a 1.5 per cent rate increase but the addition of $500,000 for repairs and maintenance of aquatic facilities at LeisureFit Booragoon and bumping a pay hike for City employees from 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent were largely responsible for the final figure of 2.45 per cent.