Dongara and Port Denison property owners should brace for a rate rise of 4.5 per cent in the coming financial year, with the Shire of Irwin one of many Mid West local governments being forced to increase rates revenue due to budget pressures. A draft budget workshop was held on May 19 to allow councillors to review the projected changes in operating revenue and expenditure, along with efficiency measures, proposed capital works and projects. The Shire is expected to collect more than $5,926,000 in rates revenue as a result of the hike, with minimum payments to remain at $1050. In a report presented to the council, acting manager for corporate and community Danika Chandler said the increase on the revenue raised in the 2021-22 financial year was needed to meet requirements of the 2022-23 budget. “It must be noted that as other income such as fees and charges are fixed by external legislation, there is very little scope for the Shire to increase this revenue source to keep up with the rising costs of service provision and reduction of grant funding. Therefore, these increasing costs must be borne by increases in rates,” she said. An increase in unimproved valuations by an average of 14.7 per cent across the Shire also contributed to the rate rise. But Ms Chandler said not all property owners would be paying more than their previous rates bill. “It should be noted that individual property values will change by more or less than the average increases . . . and therefore when rate notices are issued they will not necessarily reflect a 4.5 per cent increase in rates on their property,” she said. Ratepayers and stakeholders now have the opportunity to make submissions on the changes before they are adopted by the council.