Rates hike on the cards for SJ

Rates hike on the cards for SJ

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Councillors at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale have voted to advertise a rate rise of 3.4 percent for the upcoming financial year.

The rise is modest in comparison to other Perth councils’, with Fremantle advertising a 5.4 percent increase, Canning a 6.5 percent rise, and Victoria Park an eye-watering 8 percent hike.

Shire officers said “the shire [is] not immune to the impact of rising costs” and recommended the increase which is on par with the rise in Perth’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the past 12 months.

The shire said it has systematically been trying to reduce spending to increase its operating surplus each year, which has fallen below the state recommended levels for the past five years in a row.

In order to make up the deficit, officers have estimated the shire either needs a revenue rise of $4 million, or to cut spending by the same amount.

“Council now deems the commensurate decline in levels of service that would result from further cutting cash operating costs which presents an unacceptable risk to the responsible performance of the local government’s functions,” officers said.

Rates make up two-thirds of the shire’s operating revenue and the proposed rates will yield $31,788,176 in net rate revenue.

Submissions about the proposed rates can be made via the shire’s website at www.yoursaysj.sjshire.wa.gov.au/ratingstrategy

The adoption of the Annual Budget is expected to be considered at a Special Council Meeting in July.