Redland City Council has announced the lowest rate rise of any comparable Council in South East Queensland and delivered an effective freeze on general rates revenue, once carbon tax is taken into account.
Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams, said that the 2012-13 Back to Basics budget delivered on her election promise of reigning in rates rises to CPI levels.
“I am delighted with the result for residential and commercial ratepayers. I want to be able to provide some relief from the increasing cost of living,” the Mayor said.
“The pressures are also increasing for Council, with higher operational costs, and the significant cost of the carbon tax means we will be making sure we are as efficient and streamlined as possible.
“This is why we are getting back to basics and making sure Council’s traditional work is our priority.”
Council’s overall rate revenue is predicted to increase by $1,942,838, with a carbon tax impost of up to $2 million. The revenue rise includes rates collected from normal growth in new properties/ratepayers.
“We have abolished tip fees, reduced the environmental levy, absorbed around $325,000 in lost revenue to reduce extremely high rates bills, and frozen commercial rates,” the Mayor said.
“The result of 1.91% is the best of any comparable South-East Queensland Council, with other headline rate rises of between 3.5% (Gold Coast) – 9.4% (Ipswich) and is well under the predicted rise in the previous Redland Council Financial Strategy,” she said.
“Land valuations, set by the Queensland Government, affect the rates individual residents and businesses pay. This makes predicting the outcome of this budget on individuals difficult.
“While some rate payers will pay slightly more and some slightly less, the average increase in general rates for residential, owner-occupied properties is 0.3% or $3.39 per year. The minimum cost to each ratepayer for the carbon tax on our waste is $17.51 per annum.
Under legislation, RedWaste must recover its costs for all its services. For this reason, the residential tip fees which were abolished on 1 July this year have been added into the Waste Utility Charges – around $10 per resident. The Environmental Levy has been reduced by $10 to balance out these costs.”
The Mayor said the return of Redland Water to Redland City Council on 1 July 2012 would generate around $88 million in gross revenue.
“While we have kept water consumption, waste and waste water utility cost increases to the legislated 1.3%, the State Government has hiked its wholesale water charges by 22% this year. This will be a shock to residents when they get their rates bill in September,” she said.
“This price hike was utterly out of our control, just like the carbon tax, and we call on other levels of government to consider the pressures of rising prices on residents.
“My aim was to put money back in our residents pockets and provide real value for money on Council services. That’s why we are making changes internally and absorbing costs as much as possible, rather than asking ratepayers to keep forking out money.”
Overall Rates Revenue:
Total Revenue from all Sources for 2012 – 2013:
Total Revenue from all sources including rates, fees, charges, grants, subsidies, interest and sale of property, plant and equipment is $259 million.
Project Highlights for 2012 – 2013 (Top Five):