Rate cuts a possibility

 Some of the education around how rates are calculated.

Some of the education around how rates are calculated.

More than 40% of residential properties and 60% of non-residential properties could possibly receive a rate freeze or rate cut in the 2018/19 financial year compared to 2017/18 depending on what decision Council makes as to rates for 2018/19.

As per legislative requirements, rates are calculated by multiplying a property’s Gross Rental Value (GRV) by the Rate in the Dollar. 

The State Government’s Valuer General revalues the Gross Rental Values every three years.  This has just occurred and these new GRVs will be used to determine the City’s 2018/19 rates.

The GRV is the estimate of the rental income of your property. This recent revaluation has seen the overall GRV percentages decrease by 17.88% on average, however City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Van Styn said there have been some wide variations.

“The latest revaluation will mean more than 50% of residential properties may not pay any more in rates than last year, and in 40% of cases they may even pay less,” he said.

“For commercial ratepayers around 60% of ratepayers may also receive a modest rate cut.”

Mayor Shane Van Styn also added the City and Council are diligently working to ensure rate payers aren’t hit with huge rate rises either now or in future as part of ongoing budget deliberations.

“We want to keep rate rises as low as we possibly can, whilst maintaining services,” he said.

“While keeping rate rises to a minimum, we will still need to balance our budget which is a big win and signifies we are moving forward.”  

Mayor Van Styn said many homeowners have been asking why their rates are going up and why their house market price is going down.

“The simple explanation is – it has nothing to do with the sale price of your home,” he said.

“Legislation requires rates to be based on your property’s rental value which is set by the Valuer General, not by Council.

“We know the valuations have decreased but the cost of running the City does not get any cheaper.

“Council has made it very clear to officers that our service delivery needs to be efficient and effective and rate increases kept to a minimum.”

Over the past three years, a core objective of the City has been to keep costs down.  This is reflected in the City’s current long term financial plan predicting a 3.5% rate rise as opposed to earlier plans showing 7.2%.

“Even though the officer’s proposed rate modelling paper to the April 2018 Ordinary meeting indicated a 3.5% rate rise, I believe we can do better than that,” Mayor Van Styn added.

“Council has repeatedly demonstrated that it listens to the community in both rate setting and determining the range and level of services the community requires. 

“The actual rate increase as opposed to the indicated intent will be determined by Council and is subject to community submissions and Council deliberations.

“I expect that our ratepayers will again see the benefit of the City’s continued efforts to keep costs down.”

Mayor Van Styn also added that the City is being very open and transparent and providing education in the media that details how rates are calculated.

For more information can be found at www.cgg.wa.gov.au