300 per cent rates rise shock

WHAT business would be able to increase their prices by 300 per cent overnight and pass the full increase onto their customers?
I was shocked to open my new council rates notice this month and find that our Extracts Industrial Park warehouse rates have increased from about $1500 to $5300.
I agree we all need to share the community costs of running our shire, but a $3800 increase seems excessive when we have no improvement in service or infrastructure.
Let’s also acknowledge that the Extracts Industrial Park has no street lighting, footpaths, verge maintenance or weeding, and no deep sewerage.
Take a drive there and you will be shocked to see that Extracts Place is not maintained and its drains are full of gravel and dirt.
How is any business supposed to forward budget a $3800 increase in a current financial year?
Let’s consider fixed outgoings.
With most other budget items being fixed, the only adjustment left is variables.
Where it’s hard to increase incomings in a tight economic market, the first variable outgoing that I see is donations, sponsorship and community involvement.
It’s sad that the community should miss out based on a council decision.
I feel others in the area will need to close or reduce their output, impacting on employment and the wealth of the whole community.
Why did the council not engage with landowners about such a large increase and think through its impact on the community?
Maybe even a transition as in the Shire of Northam would be acceptable.
However, I probably wouldn’t see our own shire’s public notice because it’s not published in a local newspaper.
I am very disappointed in the Toodyay Shire Council for not forward thinking the impacts.
If this rates increase has to occur, then a three-year transition period is reasonable.
Sean Byron
(Christmas 360) Toodyay

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