Your Council and I are currently setting the City’s budget for the 2016/17 year. Like all households and businesses in today’s economic climate we are finding it difficult to balance the increasing demands placed upon us, (facilities, works, services and increasing costs) with our strong desire to keep rises in rates and charges as low as possible. To achieve this, we have resolved to keep our general rate rise this year to just 1.5% (the lowest rate rise in many years) on the total amount of rates collected, and to significantly cut our costs. Our view is ratepayers should not be asked to pay any more than is essential.
Whilst this is our commitment, I am writing to explain the implications that will exist this year due to a total revaluation of all properties in the City by the State Valuer General. This will result in significant fluctuations in the actual general rate each property will be required to pay. Despite limiting the overall increase in general rates collected to just 1.5%, some ratepayers will pay more than this and some less. This is unavoidable as valuation changes are not uniform – every property is valued independently of all others.
Council has made a further positive decision to introduce differential rating. The effect of this is to further limit the financial impact caused by the revaluation of households. Without this action, residential ratepayers would have paid much more and commercial and industrial ratepayers less, regardless of the cap. General rates are not the only charges you will pay. When you open your rates notice, you will see charges for an Emergency Services Levy (a State Government charge collected by us) and sewerage and rubbish charges levied by the City. These latter two will increase by a percentage as low as we can manage whilst maintaining the integrity of these essential services.
This year each of you will be affected differently, however I can assure you Council is doing everything it can to deliver a financially sustainable future by streamlining operations, rather than taking the easy option of charging you more.
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder