Deferred cost increases nwdre
AUGUST was a busy month.
We had an excellent day for the annual Avon Descent river race through Toodyay and a big turn-out for the International Food Festival.
Rain is now giving way to mostly sunny days, bumper crops are expected, dams and tanks are full, and wildflowers are starting to bloom – we should all be enjoying the abundance of Toodyay.
The Shire budget has been the focus for Councillors and senior staff in recent weeks with a series of workshops resulting in an anticipated rate rise of five per cent.Read more
The proposed increase aims to bridge a shortfall between last year’s reduced revenue and the amount needed to balance a new budget for this financial year.
We have calculated that the Shire needs to collect five per cent more in rates this year to continue to serve the community effectively.
Last year’s rates freeze did not absorb normal annual cost increases that now have to be accounted for in this year’s budget.
Also carried over from last year were higher demands on shire resources due to fires, storm damage, reduced revenue and increased supply costs.
The waiving of Visitor Centre memberships, late payment and administrative fees, and a three per cent discount for paying last year’s rates on time further reduced normal Shire income.
Roads and drainage need to be better supported this year, new recreation centre costs managed and last year’s revenue shortfall overcome.
To ensure fairness, rates in each of Toodyay’s seven differential rate categories will rise by approximately five per cent.
Rates notices can vary if the number of properties in a differential category change or if property valuations change.
Property valuations can change due to building additions and demolitions, or market changes.
These form part of property valuations assessed by the State Valuer General which councils use to set a rate in the dollar.
Valuations are assessed on the total change in value in differential categories, not on individual properties.
Unimproved Valuations (UV), such as for broad-acre farms, are assessed annually, while Gross Rental Values (GRV), such as for residential properties, are assessed every five years.
That is why GRV rates can appear to jump suddenly while UV rises are usually more gradual.
Once budget deliberations are completed by Council there may be some adjustment.
A differential rates notice is required by law to be advertised for 21 days for public comment before a new Shire budget can be adopted.
We have asked the Minister to extend last month’s August 31 statutory deadline for this year’s budget to ensure it is properly considered by the Council using new Datascape software that was installed last month.
Toodyay property owners can expect to receive new rates notices later this month.
Just a reminder, nominations for four Council vacancies in the October 16 Shire elections open on Thursday September 2 and close 4pm on Thursday September 9.
Candidates are required to complete a short online training course before their nominations can be accepted – please visit elections.wa.gov.au for more details.
Spring has sprung and promise is in the air – enjoy the day Toodyay.