Council agrees on rate freeze

Council agrees on rate freeze

The City of Gosnells will not increase its rates amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The City of Gosnells will not increase its rate revenue as more ratepayers and local businesses struggle with the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On March 31 council approved development of the 2020/21 budget.

Apart from freezing rate increases, the city will write off penalty interest on overdue rates and any dishonour fees incurred if a ratepayer defaults on direct debit payments.

This is expected to reduce the city’s income by around $150,000.

The city will also be waiving food business registration fee renewals, which were due to be sent out this month.

These fees cover the cost of food business inspections and represent about $200,000 in reduced revenue.

Commercial lease fees worth $8250 a month will also be waived, which will benefit the city’s four commercial premises that are leased to small businesses including three cafes and a child care centre.

Mayor David Goode said the city’s strong financial position made it possible to provide this level of community support during the global health crisis.

“The city is looking at bringing forward capital expenditure to assist the economy to recover,” he said.

“There are many factors beyond our control with the coronavirus pandemic, so we’ve focused on the steps we can take to keep our community moving forward together.

“Council also approved staff working on a local economic stimulus program to support ratepayers and businesses, with details of this package still to be finalised.”