2018-2019 Budget Confirms Lowest Rate Increase in 20 Years

28 June 2018

$39.4 million in funding is now secure for works projects across more than 200 community products and services, following the adoption of the 2018-2019 Budget.

The budget adopted at a special Council meeting on Tuesday, 26 June 2018, confirmed the lowest rate in the dollar increase in 20 years - an average residential rate increase of 0.9%, equating to 1.2% for an average residential property and in line with the Perth Consumer Price Index for the year ended March 2018.

Retiring Chief Executive Officer Dr Shayne Silcox said the 0.9% rate in the dollar increase had not been achieved easily and was the result of some hard decisions and some long term strategies that had been put in place in recent years.

“The lowest possible rate increase is the outcome we have been working towards for our ratepayers and we have been successful in achieving this while still maintaining our position as one of the top local governments for financial health, achieving 98/100 in the State Governments 2016/2017 Financial Health Indicator (FHI) measure, following on from 98 in 2015/2018 and 99 in 2014/2015,” Dr Silcox said.

“Like most Local Governments, our revenue base is heavily reliant on income from rates, but unlike our neighbouring local governments 80% of our rates income is from residential ratepayers, meaning that private citizens are largely responsible for meeting the costs of maintaining the City’s vast infrastructure, assets, amenities and services.

“Over the years we have actively sought to create alternative revenue streams to help reduce the rate burden for our citizens meaning that every dollar we have earnt from income sources other than rates has reduced the need to raise rates and relieved some pressure on our rate-paying community.

“We have used long-term financial modelling to help maintain a negligible level of debt while ensuring sufficient funding is set aside for the maintenance and renewal of our assets, and that our operating expenses are met from our own revenue sources rather than relying on government grants.

“We are happy to see our efforts start to pay off and to be able to deliver a low 1.2% average residential rate increase while still providing the high-quality products and services that the community want and need.”

Annual rates are calculated as a percentage of the gross rental value (GRV) of properties, with a typical residential property in the City of Melville calculated at an annual GRV of $25,725 per annum or approximately $495 per week. In 2018-2019, the improved residential rate will be $1,766 inclusive of a $56.40 security charge.

The City’s total rates income of $87.4 million has been carefully allocated to ensure operating service levels are maintained, together with an appropriate level of investment in the City’s assets.

The City includes the $16.81 million cost of residential waste collection and disposal within the general rates. This allows eligible seniors and pensioners to access State rebates on this component of their annual rates. 

The 2018-2019 Budget provides for $39.4m in capital expenditure, key items include:

  • $11.5m for works on City owned buildings, including $3.2m for the new Library/Cultural Centre, $1.1m Melville City Centre Development Sites, $1.9m for LeisureFit Booragoon Leisure Pool refurbishment;
  • $6.1m for general road resurfacing projects;
  • $4.8m for renewal and development of Parks/Foreshores, including $3.8m for the upgrade of Shirley Strickland Reserve
  • $1.7m for replacement and new footpaths;
  • $1.5m for drainage renewal and upgrade projects;
  • $1.4m for jetties and boardwalks
  • $1.4m for the replacement of plant and vehicles;
  • $1.2m for irrigation works across the City’s parks;
  • $814k for information technology hardware and software;
  • $600k for renewal of playgrounds;
  • $569k for renewal and development of Streetscapes and Structures;
  • $500k for environmental works, including foreshore restoration; The City is reliant on grants to assist funding its capital program.

The 2018-2019 Annual Budget includes funding from both State and Federal Government programs, including Roads to Recovery, Main Roads Regional Grants, State Black Spots, Recreational Boating Facilities and Lotterywest.

Ratepayers can expect to receive their rate notice from Friday, 20 July 2018, if signed up for electronic rates or during week commencing Monday, 23 July 2018 by post.

Ratepayers who pay their rates in full by the early payment date of 14 August 2018, or sign up to receive their rates electronically by 28 August 2018, will be entered into two prize draws, with a total prize pool exceeding $22,000.

City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said this year’s prize pool will be the biggest the City has ever seen, with a major prize of $10,000 for the Pay Your Rates early draw.

“One lucky ratepayer who pays their rates early will walk away with $10,000 thanks to our platinum sponsor, Amara City Gardens, Booragoon,” Mayor Aubrey said.

“We also have three $1,000 Westpac Reward Saver accounts up for grabs and four 12-month Healthy Life Plus memberships to our LeisureFit Centres.

“But that’s not all, if you sign up to receive your rate notice electronically, either through eNotices or BPay View, you will also go into the draw to win one of 12 prizes, including five $100 gift vouchers to Raffles Hotel, a $500 Stockland Bull Creek gift voucher, three overnight accommodation packages at Pagoda Resort and Spa, a $500 Couples Escape gift voucher to Le Beau Day Spa, or two lots of $250 cash from Guardsman Self Storage.

“So don’t delay, pay your rates in full by 14 August 2018 or sign up to receive your rates electronically by 28 August 2018 to ensure you are entered into these prize draws.”

Included with the annual rates notice is Your guide to what you pay and the A-Z of what you get 2018-2019, which provides a budget summary and outline of rate calculations, plus details of more than 200 products and services available to the community.

Copies of the guide are also available at the City of Melville Civic Centre, libraries, LeisureFit Centres and community centres.

To find out more about your rates and charges, the 2018-2019 Budget and this year’s rates prize draw details, please visit www.melvillecity.com.au/rates or call 1300 635 845  | 9364 0666.

To see a full list of the City’s 200+ products and services, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/a-z.

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