Councillors passed in principle support for a 7.6 per cent residential rise and a 10.8 per cent increase in the minimum rate for the 2013-14 financial year at Tuesday’s council meeting. It will now be advertised for public comment.
It follows a 9.9 per cent rise last year and 8.92 per cent rise in 2011-12.
Cr Ann Prince said the City should use any surplus it generated in recent years to reduce rates because many property owners were struggling with rising costs.
‘I know personally a young couple who bought a home and now can’t afford it; there are many homeless in Rockingham and people who are struggling,’ she said.
Mayor Barry Sammels said previous councils dipped into the surplus but it had left future councils to increase rates above the average to meet the City’s costs.
The City will generate $57 million from rates, $6.09 million more than last year.
It is likely the City will also face a closing deficit of $90,000 this financial year but would ‘essentially be a balanced budget’, according to Cr Sammels.
‘The City is not predicting a material deficit for the end of 2012-13’