Rates relief for residents as rise dropped

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Town of Port Hedland homeowners will pay 1.5 per cent more in rates from the end of this financial year.

Feedback from local residents and businesses prompted a reduction in the initially proposed rise of 2.5 per cent, with councillors unanimously voting for the lower figure.

After 21 days of public consultation on the rating strategy, a special council meeting was called last night to discuss the outcome.

At their April meeting, the council agreed to a 2.5 per cent increase in the rate in the dollar across gross rental values residential, GRV commercial, GRV tourist accommodation, unimproved values mining and UV pastoral categories, with a 25 per cent increase for the GRV industrial category.

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However, 25 submissions from the public were received by the Town with many saying the rises were too steep, especially in a difficult economic climate.

During the special meeting last night, Mayor Camilo Blanco suggested lowering the GRV residential rise to a 1.5 per cent increase and also reducing the GRV industrial rise to 12.5 per cent.

The suggestion was endorsed unanimously and Mr Blanco said he was pleased with the outcome.

“The reduction is clearly in line with the objections that we received over the past month or two,” he said.

“Clearly the people in Hedland are hurting financially and we’ve taken that into consideration, the rates have only gone up by CPI, 1.5 per cent, which is a decrease of the officers’ recommendation of 2.5 per cent.”

The Town of Port Hedland will now seek approval for their plans from the Minister for Local Government and Communities before the council adopts the new rating strategy and sets the 2017-18 Budget.

For more on this, pick up the North West Telegraph next week.

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