RESIDENTIAL rates will increase by 3.5 per cent for City of Wanneroo this financial year, an increase deemed to be the lowest in a decade.
The council approved the increase, which applies to 87 per cent of ratepayers, while adopting its corporate business plan for 2016-17 to 2019-20 and its 2016-17 Budget.
According to the June 28 report, rate increases in the past decade have varied between 4.2 per cent in 2014-15 and 7 per cent in 2008-09.
The minimum rate will be $1305 for residential properties with a lesser minimum of $410 for strata-titled caravan parks.
“The rates advertised (in May) were designed to meet a budget deficiency of approximately $142.57 million,” the report said.
“Despite being the lowest increase in over 10 years, the City will continue to invest in community infrastructure with budgeted spend on capital works totalling $75.54 million, plus an additional $16.89 million for carry-forward projects from 2015-16.” The 2016-17 capital works budget will include $25.12 million from municipal funds, $22.87 million from reserves, $15.78 million from grants and $11.04 million from loans.
Major building projects include the Wanneroo Civic Centre expansion ($12 million), Yanchep playing fields ($10.2 million), Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club ($3.94 million) and Quinns Mindarie Surf Life Saving Club expansion ($3.92 million).
Funding will also go towards road upgrades on Connolly Drive ($4.4 million), Neerabup Road ($2.5 million), Marmion Avenue ($2 million) and Old Yanchep Road ($970,000).
“As a City, we are growing at a rate of up to 140 new residents each week so it is vital that we ensure we provide the recreation facilities, community hubs and meeting places, roads and pathways and parks and open spaces that our residents need and expect,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.
“We cannot stand still, we must respond to the growth and it is a challenge we take seriously.
“This capital works program has been developed in close consultation with our residents and aims to balance the demands for new infrastructure against the need to maintain, renew, upgrade and replace existing assets.
“For the vast majority of ratepayers, the 3.5 per cent rise represents a change from this year to last of about $44 per year or less than 85 cents per week.”
Councillor Domenic Zappa said the City had reduced the rates burden on residential ratepayers through “modest increases in rates on vacant land which is mostly owned by developers”.