Strong financial management allows for modest rate increase

A commitment to deliver new facilities and enhanced community services has resulted in Council supporting a modest rates increase.

Residential, commercial and industrial properties will see a two per cent rates increase for the 2019/20 financial year, after Council endorsed the proposed differential rating model on Friday.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was the fourth consecutive year the City had introduced a rates increase lower than the Consumer Price Index, or current inflation rate.

“Council has worked hard to reduce its reliance on rates, with the majority of its revenue sourced from government grants, the private sector, fees and charges,” Cr Long said.

“This year’s rise is less than the 2.1 per cent increase identified in the City’s Long Term Financial Plan and is equivalent to an average of $44 per residential ratepayer.

“The rating model reflects the minimum increase necessary to maintain and improve the services we provide to the community and support our growing number of high standard facilities, including the Red Earth Arts Precinct, Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre, Wickham Community Hub, Balyarra Parkway and Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment.

“It also reflects a significant increase in operating expenditure due to the State Government increasing utility charges. These include a 6.7 per cent rise in electricity charges, 4.5 per cent increase in water costs and seven per cent rise in insurance costs.”

The rating model will generate $41.5 million or approximately one third of the City’s total funding required for 2019/20.

The rating model was advertised in May to seek feedback from rate payers, with a total of two submissions received.

The City will now seek ministerial approval for the 2019-20 differential rating model.