FOR the 23rd year in succession, Brighton Council will keep its rate increase in line with inflation with the general rate rise pegged to the CPI for 2018-19.
The rise next financial year will amount to just two percent or $17 a year for all residential households.
While Councils must wait until its June meeting to formally fix rates for the coming year, Brighton Council’s May workshop adopted the recommended budget in principle, including the two percent CPI increase.
Mayor Tony Foster said Brighton Councillors voted to continue its popular flat rate for residential properties and the Council was extremely proud it had kept rate increases at or below rises in the CPI for the past 23 years.
“Next year, the increase for householders will equate to just a little more than $1.50 a month,” Cr Foster said.
“Our fair rating system ensures fairness and according to the Auditor-General, Brighton continues to have the lowest rates per capita in Tasmania.
“Despite the ongoing pressures on local government, we are determined to limit cost increases on our community.
“We are proud that we have been able to keep rate increases down at a time when our costs are rising and other councils are implementing much larger increases.”
Cr Foster said although restraining the rates’ rise, operational efficiency and Brighton’s leading role in sharing services with like-minded councils, would enable it to undertake a range of community improvement projects over the coming year, from roadworks to a range of public facilities for the municipality.
Key projects would include increased expenditure in street tree planting following positive community support for Council’s efforts to date, and a significant investment to provide female-friendly changerooms at sporting facilities as a result of the greater focus on participation in sport for women and girls.
Cr Foster said Brighton Council’s strong financial position had enabled it to keep the rate rise in line with the increase in the CPI despite accepting a 33 percent decrease in the TasWater dividend, a move accepted by all councils to improve Taswater’s capacity to address state-wide water and sewerage infrastructure upgrades.
“Brighton’s strong financial management and efficiency, coupled with our commitment to shared services with other Councils means our ratepayers continue to benefit from the full range of services at the lowest possible cost,” Cr Foster said.