Rates to riseby 3 per cent

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Shire of East Pilbara residents could be hit with a 3 per cent rate rise for the 2017-18 financial year.

The proposed rates increase will now go out for public consultation after councillors agreed on the rating strategy at their meeting last month.

The strategy proposes raising all rate categories by 3 per cent, with minimum payments all set to remain at 2016-17 levels.

The categories of unimproved values in AML leases, mining leases, general leases, petroleum leases, exploration leases and prospecting leases have minimum payment levels of $300, while GRV industrial, town centre, Nullagine townsite, transient workforce and other categories have a minimum payment of $663. UV pastoral/special leases minimum payment is $230.

A rise of 4 per cent across the board had been proposed by the council’s own long-term financial plan, but officers claimed, in the agenda item for the rating strategy, that “sound financial management” had reduced the need for the extra one per cent rise.

The Shire officers who recommended the strategy said “the proposed rates in the dollar attempts to balance the need for revenue to fund essential services and capital, with the desire to minimise the impact that rates have on ratepayers”.

The proposed differential rating model would raise $11.5 million in the 2017-18 financial year compared with $11.2 million for 2016-17.

The council also agreed to apply to the minister for local government for approval to impose differential rates that exceed the statutory two times limit in the UV category for the 2017-18 financial year.

Before the council can establish the new rates they must be advertised for a minimum of 21 days.

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