Julie Matheson

CFP Business Specialist | Local Government Expert | Political Adviser

Consultation on council RATES

Subiaco ratepayers warm to consultation on budgets

Council budgets are not like business budgets, they are embedded with projects set by council a long time ago.  Getting a new project approved without a significant rate increase is tricky. 

When the Regal Theatre approached Subiaco Council for a grant to replace its seating, Subiaco’s draft budget was set with an increase of 4.65% but only included a fraction of the $500,000 required (Ref, the Post, 5 Sept, p.1).  Finding the extra funds would mean additional 2% top up.

Having campaigned against force amalgamations, and rebutting the Premier’s claims that larger councils would have lower rates, I consulted with Subiaco ratepayers through my email list whether or not they supported an additional rate increase of 2% to fund new seating.  Surprisingly, the majority who replied, some 68%, were in favour of a rate increase as long as it was a once off, and not embedded into the rates for further increase.

However I was not in favour of a 6.65% rate increase.  In the end a list of projects to cull was produced, the Regal Theatre got its funding for new seats, and Subiaco ratepayers ended up with a 2.9% increase, an increase I did not support.

 Subiaco Council’s budget is again up for review in November 2015.  It has come to light that state government cost-shifting has been embedded with a “review” of Subiaco’s Strategic Community Plan.  This compulsory plan has already cost hundreds of thousands of dollars during “Think 2030”.  It’s to be reviewed costing ratepayers even more money.  I will be consulting with ratepayers on this one, and any other cost-shifting from the state government to council ratepayers because your say matters.

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2015 by in Rates, Small business and tagged , , .
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