2.5 per cent rates hike on the cards
Increase more than double 12-month rise in household cost of living
By Michael Sinclair-Jones
RATEPAYERS face a 2.5 per cent rates hike this financial year after Toodyay shire councillors voted 6-1 at last month’s council meeting (Cr Bill Manning against, Cr Ben Bell overseas on Australian Government trade mission) to advertise the proposed new increase for public comment.
The rise is more than double the 1.1 per cent cost of living increase in the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index for the 12 months to March 31.Read more
A proposed rate increase advertised last year resulted in nine public submissions, 20 pages of comments and a 2000-name petition which the council ignored.
This year’s proposed 2.5 per cent rates increase was moved by Cr Rob Welburn and seconded by Cr Judy Dow.
It applies to all rateable properties in the shire, regardless of valuation category.
Shire President Brian Rayner announced to the meeting that a recommendation published in the agenda to exempt about 2000 properties on minimum rates from the 2.5 per cent increase would be replaced by an alternative recommendation to apply the increase to all land owners.
However, visitors in the public gallery were not given the revised calculations on which councillors based their decision.
The agenda papers – which showed no minimum rate increase – estimated that a 2.5 per cent rate increase would raise $6,542,030 in the 2019-20 financial year.
The proposed new rates include commercial (0.14020 cents in the dollar), town residential (0.12943) and industrial (0.12483).
Hundreds of ‘lifestyle’ landowners on relatively small blocks in rural residential subdivisions such as Morangup face a new rate of 0.11260 cents in the dollar.
Farmers on much bigger properties who pay tens of thousands of dollars in rates face a new rural rate of 0.008969 cents in the dollar.