Town of Mosman Park drops rate rise to 2.4 per cent

Town of Mosman Park drops rate rise to 2.4 per cent

TOWN of Mosman Park councillors opposed to a 3.4 per cent rates rise to bolster reserve funds cut it to 2.4 per cent before adopting the Town’s 2016-17 budget this week.

“We’re taking about a $14.2 million budget and I don’t understand how with this minor change we are suddenly talking about what will bring down the Town of Mosman Park, if not the whole of western suburbs,” 2Cr Brett Pollock said.

Cr Pollock said with the Perth CPI at 0.7 per cent a 2.4 per cent rates increase was “more than enough”.

He said the lower rise’s affect on council income could be accommodated by using $150,000 from the reserves in the mid-year budget review, and it would also have less impact on residents’ rates bills.

“At the stroke of a pen we can save $60,000 for a structure plan, because why are we spending $60,000 over the quote?” Cr Zenda Johnson said.

Cr Johnson also questioned a $29,000 rise in the budget for work on the memorial hall’s roof, up from $40,000 allocated in 2015-16, and $105,000 for doors in the next 12 months.

“I can’t tax our residents when anomalies such as these are in our budget,” she said.

However, Cr Jenna Ledgerwood wanted a 4 per cent increase to bolster the council’s reserves and for the council to tackle contested spending, such as a gift to the Town’s bowling clubs for its fridges which she said should have been a loan.

Mayor Ron Norris and Cr Andrew Maurice argued for the 3.4 per cent rise, which others called an “unacceptable burden” on ratepayers.

“Well that’s what ratepayers are for, as they are the beneficiaries of what work the council does, and they recover that in the increases in the values of the homes they own,” Mr Norris said.

Cr Maurice said the increase reflected the council’s poor revenue base while it had significant spending on parks and reserves and would represent a $30 increase in the average home’s annual rates.

He and Mr Norris opposed the 2.4 per cent increase, which will reduce rates revenue by $83,538 and cut a transfer into the infrastructure reserve by the same amount.