Shire proposes 2pc rates rise

Alicia PereraPilbara News

The Shire of Ashburton is proposing to pass on a 2 per cent rates rise on average to ratepayers for the 2018/19 financial year.

In an item at the Shire’s June council meeting, councillors passed a motion to increase rates by 2 per cent across all property categories, subject to public feedback from the 21-day consultation period.

The proposed increase would mean residential ratepayers would pay a minimum of $90 more a year, while gross rental value commercial and all unimproved value property owners would pay at least an extra $113 a year.

Shire president Kerry White said the proposed increase was in line with inflation, which was at about 1.5 per cent, and would also contribute to the Shire’s “more complex” operational and capital costs, including staffing and project construction.

She also said the impact of large fluctuations in GRV property valuations this year — with 2017 being a revaluation year in a three-year cycle — had presented a challenge for determining the rates model, but the Shire would advise anyone concerned about a large increase in their rates to apply to the State Government’s valuer general.

“As the rate burden is spread across all ratepayers in the district an increase in rate burden for one ratepayer will result in a corresponding decrease for another ratepayer,” she said.

“Council acknowledged this fact at the meeting and resolved that ratepayers are entitled to object to the Valuer-General should they wish to do so.”

Property values in Ashburton plunged with the revaluation, with residential properties in Pannawonica and Paraburdoo declining by 55 per cent on average, a 45 per cent drop in Tom Price and 44 per cent decrease in Onslow.

Submissions to the Shire on the proposed rates model are open until Friday, July 13.

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