City of Greater Geraldton to increase residential and commercial rates by 1.75 per cent

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Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
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The City of Greater Geraldton's administration centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue.
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton's administration centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue. Credit: Geoff Vivian/Geraldton Guardian

Residential and commercial rates are set to rise by 1.75 per cent, with City of Greater Geraldton councillors unanimously endorsing the increase at a meeting on Tuesday.

The proposal, which will be opened to public submissions before the City’s 2021-22 budget is finalised, follows no rise last year and a 1.5 per cent increase in 2019-20.

Discounts on rates paid in full by the due date introduced last year as part of the City’s COVID-19 rates relief initiatives are also planned to be discontinued, with minimum payments increasing from $1010 to $1027.

CGG corporate and commercial services director Paul Radalj reported to council the proposed adjustment was in line with expected increases to power and water next financial year, forecast by State Treasury.

The City expects to raise $48.4 million from the 2021-22 rates levied, up from $47.1m expected to be received from this year’s excluding discounts.

Cr Douglas moved the item, saying it was a reasonable decision and the City had come far in its financial planning and management over the past seven years.

“We didn’t have any increase last year, in fact we gave some discounts for early payments and there were no penalties for late payments until the last one in March, and this was all in response to COVID,” he said.

Now we’re over (COVID) to a reasonably large degree, we have to get the books back in order.

“Since then through the hard work of a lot of people, and you’ve shown great leadership in this Mr Mayor...the long-term financial plan is getting to the point of somewhere between 1.5 to two percent (rates increases) and I think that’s a fantastic achievement over that period of time.”

The motion was carried unopposed by the 12 councillors present. Cr Simon Keemink did not join the meeting until later in the evening.

The City will advertise notices of intention to impose the new rates and minimum payments from next Wednesday, with public submissions accepted for 21 days.

Its budget will not be finalised, nor adopted, until after consideration by the council of any elector and ratepayer submissions.

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