19 May 2023
The Shire of Irwin is proposing a 5.9% rate raise in their 2023/24 Budget to continue to deliver high quality services and projects to the community.
Shire President Mike Smith said UV valuations were up by an average of 22.96%.
“This is due to excellent seasonal conditions and strong commodity prices, leading to a high demand for agriculture properties," he said.
"We understand inflation has increased cost of living pressure, and because of this we've kept the rate rise as low as possible, however inflation has also affected the cost of materials and services council uses, in some instances by up to 30%.
Over the past six years we have increased rates by an average of 2%, which is well below CPI, with zero rate rises during the COVID period.
We are dealing with increased expenses and the reality is that we can no longer afford to simply absorb these costs as it is putting huge pressure on the organisation.”
The 2023/24 Budget has forecasted a $1.3m increase capital works expenditure.
“This extra allocation will allow us to undertake projects that are a key priority for the community such as the ongoing upgrades and maintenance grading of the entire unsealed, rural road network,” Cr Smith explained.
“It is interesting to note that the amount we are proposing to spend on these roads in this year’s Budget is equivalent to the rate revenue we receive from our UV rate payers.”
Rates are levied on all rateable properties to provide services and facilities to our community. There are 2699 rateable properties within the Shire of Irwin. Rates revenue accounts for approximately 65-70% of Council’s total operating revenue.
Council and Shire staff work hard to leverage as much revenue from sources other than rates to minimise rate payments, including fees and charges and capital grants and contributions.
Rates allow the Shire to deliver essential services and projects such as
· the upkeep and maintenance of infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, street lighting, bushland, river and foreshores,
· bin collections and Transfer Station,
· support local businesses and organisations,
· community and recreation services including libraries, youth facilities, parks and reserves,
· and community events and activity programs.
Shire President Smith said that the Council had processes in place for people struggling to pay their rates.