Reduced rate increase following community feedback

The City of Karratha Council has opted to reduce its proposed rate increase for residential properties to an average of 1 per cent following a public advertising and submission period.

The revised model means that 32 per cent of property owners will receive a reduction in their rates, while 38 per cent will increase by less than 2 per cent.

Overall the increase in rate yield for 2018/18 will be less than a third of the consumer price index.

In addition, the City will develop a policy around rate relief for property owners facing hardship.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council had listened to the calls from the community and opted for the minimum rate increase possible while continuing to maintain the standard of services expected from the community.

“While there are clear signs of economic recovery and many exciting projects on the horizon, we understand that some people in the community are doing it tough at the moment and we have tried to implement a rate model which has the smallest impact on those in most difficulty,” Cr Long said.

“The City has critically reviewed all areas of its expenditure in an attempt to reduce costs and is actively looking at ways to increase revenues from sources other than rates. The City has deferred spending on new equipment, increased energy efficiency measures and improved procurement processes to maximise savings.”

“At the same time we are delivering more and better services to the community including the new Red Earth Arts Precinct, upgraded roads and footpaths, new parks and ovals, community events and additional sporting facilities."

"Our community survey feedback indicates that the community loves these facilities and wants to see more of this type of activity. The 2018/19 proposed rates reflects the minimum increase possible while maintaining and improving the delivery of these services and facilities.”

"Unfortuantely due to a revaluation of properties this year rates will fluctuate between property owners.”

“Rates are calculated by multiplying the gross rental value of a property set by the State Government, by the rate in the dollar set by Council.”

“Each property is valued individually so changes in value are inconsistent across the City, and even within suburbs and towns.”

“As valuations have dropped this year, the rate in the dollar charged has increased to ensure the City receives the rate yield required to deliver the infrastructure and services planned for the next financial year.”

“When valuations have previously increased, Council has significantly reduced the rate in the dollar to compensate."

The City’s 10-year Long Term Financial Plan anticipates annual rates income growth of approximately 2 per cent per annum.