Rates round-up

VINCENT ratepayers are looking at a 2.7 per cent increase in rates.

The draft figure is still to be approved by council.

The proposed increase is higher than CPI (1.5 per cent), but mayor Emma Cole said, “I think the rate increase is a very modest increase and it is about striking a balance.

“It is tough economic times and some community members would say why would you consider rating above CPI?

“It needs to be balanced against the City of Vincent maintaining that basic but really good level of service delivery that we must do, in terms of road resurfacing, waste removal, all of the basics that we have to consider.”

She said the city was facing financial pressures from declining parking revenue, fewer customers using Beatty Park, big costs to maintain ageing infrastructure and equipment, and the city’s decision to no longer charge businesses for setting up alfresco areas.

“What was an important initiative, but has cost the city a significant amount of money, was the removal of alfresco fees,” Ms Cole said.

“No regrets there, but ultimately it did cost the city money to get that vibrancy on our streets.

“It was worth it, but it’s had that impact on revenue.”

“We also need to plan for the future needs of our community, so one of our budget priorities for next year is to provide more inviting green and open spaces.”

Cr Josh Topelberg says ratepayers can mitigate the increase: the city has a new system allowing people to volunteer to have a smaller bin, and that gets you a $40 cashback on your rates.

For a person with an average rates bill of $1500, taking a smaller bin and saving $40 wipes out that 2.7 per cent increase.

“I think broadly speaking we rate properties very fairly for the service we’re providing,” he said.

The draft rates will be advertised for 21 days before councillors make a final vote.

Meanwhile, Perth property owners are looking at a modest rate rise this year with the city aiming to keep the average rise within the CPI increase of 1.5 per cent.

While that seems low, a small number of landowners could be in for a shock as their personal rates end up rising much higher than 1.5 per cent if Landgate decides their property is still worth a lot.

Every three years properties get valued by Landgate, which guestimates how much you could earn if you rented your property out for a year (“Gross Rental Value”).

Rates are based on that GRV, with councils taking a few cents in the dollar (so if your council’s rate in the dollar is 0.05c and your property could earn $20,000 in rent, your rates will wind up at $1,000).

This is the year that properties get revalued, and the overall GRV of residential properties has plummeted by an average of eight per cent.

by DAVID BELL

 

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