The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has put the latest proposal for Differential Rating and a draft rating strategy forward for community consultation.
During the council meeting on Monday, June 21, a report was put forward for councillors to consider a new rating strategy and vote to put the changes to community consultation.
According to councillor Morgan Byas, ratepayers will be hit, on average, an extra $297 this year.
“The modelling I’ve seen suggests that some families could be hit for even more, potentially facing an increase of over 25 per cent,” he said.
Mr Byas said rural residential ratepayers would have seen an increase of five per cent in one year if the current plan goes forward.
This comes after a feud last year during the proposal for the Rating Equity Project, during which the then Minister for Local Government David Templeman urged the shire to support and give urgent consideration to deterring the rate review.
Councillor Morgan Byas raised this at the council meeting, reminding councillors of Mr Templeman’s words.
“The Minister specifically asked us ‘to give ratepayers certainty that they will not be hit with massive increases to their rates during this global pandemic,’” he said.
“The last time I checked, the global COVID-19 threat was still unfolding and I cannot recall an announcement from the World Health Organisation declaring the pandemic over.
“For this council to stay true to the decision we made on December 14 last year, we must deliver a rating strategy that gives our ratepayers certainty that they will not be hit with a massive increase to their rates.
“In a world of uncertainty, I made a commitment on December 14 last year to protect my community from massive rate hikes, and I intend on keeping that commitment.”
Despite Mr Byas’ attempts, the council voted to endorse a total rate yield for 2021/2022 budget purposes, which will derive a proposed $25,060,988 in net rate revenue which is a 1.85% increase on current year to date base rate calculations.
To find out more about the rates and how much is proposed for each Rate Category, visit the shire website.