Big freeze on council rates

Big freeze on council rates

VICTORIA Park councillors have slashed spending on a celebratory concert later this year to achieve an unexpected present for locals: a zero per cent rise in rates for the coming year.

Last week’s council decision came after the Town’s staff had recommended a 2.5 per cent rates increase to cover next year’s bills.

To achieve the reduction, councillors shaved more than $1.17 million from the planned operating budget, targeting money allocated for the Town of Victoria Park 25-year anniversary concert, place planning initiatives and planned increases to employees’ wages bill, as well as their own allowances.

City of South Perth ratepayers also had a small win when their councillors voted to limit next year’s annual rates rise to 1 per cent.

The council previously advertised an intention to lift rates by 1.4 per cent, but councillors voted 5-4 on Tuesday to cut planned
works at Collier Park Golf Course, resulting in the small saving.

Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said his council’s decision showed an understanding of the current economic climate and the cost of living.

“We were conscious of balancing the need to maintain the operating costs of essential services that our community expects and including additional projects we have identified as items of significant importance for 2019-2020,” he said.

“Most notably on this list of projects is our commitment to delivering the Urban Forest Strategy, which will assist in achieving the target of 20 per cent tree canopy throughout the Town in the coming years.”

New works slated to happen during the next 12 months include the Edward Millen and John Macmillan precinct master plans, photo-voltaic solar panels for Aqualife and streetscape improvements for Archer and Mint streets.

The Town of Cambridge is the only other metropolitan council considering a zero per cent rise this year.

The City of Belmont, which is advertising a 1.75 per cent increase in total rates, will formalise its annual budget on July 23.