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Rates rise proposed in council budget

Rates will rise up to five per cent for Benalla and district residents under Benalla Rural City's proposed budget.

May 14, 2014 3:30am

Rates will be on the rise for Benalla residents in the next 12 months under Benalla Rural City’s proposed 2014-15 budget.

At last week’s special meeting of council it was proposed there would be a five per cent increase in total rates and charges revenue, four per cent of which would be used for capital works including the Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Learning Centre, Benalla Landfill and Resource Centre cell construction and rehabilitation, and the strengthening of the Ackerley Ave stock bridge.

One per cent of the increase will be applied to maintaining existing services.

However, Benalla Rural City chief executive Tony McIlroy said the overall five per cent increase in rates and charges revenue would not mean an automatic five per cent increase in all residents’ rates notice.

‘‘This year has been a general valuation year, and there has been an overall increase in the value of properties of 2.6 per cent,’’ he said.

‘‘We have also had an increase in the number of rateable properties, and we have included provision for rates on further new properties during the coming year. The amount that rates will change will vary across different properties.’’

To fund the increase in total rates and charges, the general rate revenue will increase by 5.1 per cent, municipal charge revenue by 3.8 per cent and waste management charges revenue by 5.6 per cent.

The budget proposes a surplus for 2014-15 of $1.831million, mainly due to the receipt of capital grants of $2.982million.

‘‘The savings in operational costs amounting to $250000 are the maximum we can make while still delivering services at an appropriate level,’’ Mr McIlroy said.

Councillor Peter Davis said while it was unfortunate that rates could not be kept low, the landfill site and infrastructure were going to be substantial costs to council in the coming year.

‘‘At the end of the day ratepayers do want infrastructure,’’ he said.

For full story see this week’s Ensign.

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