Council debate over ugly topic – rates

Council debate over ugly topic – rates

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The City of Armadale council discussed this year's proposed rates increase in great detail at this week's council meeting.

The ugly topic of a rates increase was discussed in great detail at the City of Armadale’s ordinary council meeting this week with the majority of councillors agreeing to retain a 1.75 per cent increase. 

Councillor Mark Geary spoke at the meeting and said he had crunched the numbers and asked his fellow councillors to consider a 0.8 per cent increase, which would result in a loss of income for the city of more than $640,000. 

Not all councillors agreed with Mr Geary’s foreshadowed motion with some saying they would need to access more information about the ramifications it would have for this year and future rates notices in the years to come. 

Councillor Ruth Butterfield said while she could not support the motion to drop it to 0.8 per cent, she could support a proposed 1.55 per cent increase, which would be 0.25 per cent below the determined Local Government Cost Index rate. 

Councillors voted eight votes to five in support of the proposed increase to remain the same at 1.75 per cent and the proposal has been sent to the Minister for Local Government for approval. 

Hilbert resident Peter Shanavas organised a petition against this year’s proposed rates increase.

Meanwhile, a petition containing 758 signatures was handed over and accepted by council on Monday night but was not looked at prior to any of the voting. 

Petition organiser Peter Shanavas said the result of the petition, which asked council to freeze any increase for this year’s rates notices, clearly showed the frustration many residents have about the proposed rates increase. 

“I had a lot of feedback from residents saying Armadale is a good place to live,” he said. 

“However the most disgusting feedback I received was residents saying they have started to think about moving from the City of Armadale because of the high rates. 

“The second biggest feedback I have received is the poor service they had from the council.”