MELVILLE residents are looking at around a 2.42 per cent increase in their rates in 2016/17.
The rate rise and the rest of the city’s budget is to be voted on at a special council meeting on June 28.
“For the average residential ratepayer this equates to $40 per annum or 77 cents per week, from $1,658 in 2015/16 to $1,698 in 2016/17,” says Melville council CEO Dr Shayne Silcox.
City officers had originally formulated a 1.5 per cent hike, based on CPI in December last year, but an unforseen $500,000 for “essential works” on Leisurefit Booragoon, and $400,000 to install solar panels at the Melville Aquatic Centre, blew that out of the water.
“Some of the additional items will be funded from general purpose revenue and some from specific purpose reserve accounts,” says Dr Silcox.
Gary Crawford, president of the Melville residents and ratepayers association, is unimpressed.
“Whilst a rate increase of 2.5 per cent for 2016-17 financial year is better than last year’s 4 per cent increase, it is still perpetuating the City of Melville’s ongoing culture and practice of increasing rates significantly above CPI,” he says.
“Last year’s 4 per cent, and the proposed 2016-17 2.5 per cent rate increases, are significantly higher than WA CPI for the respective periods.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK