By TONY FOSTER OAM
BRIGHTON Council is well aware of the cost of living pressures confronting our community and the difficulty many people face as a result of ever-increasing price rises and utility charges.
That is why we are determined to maintain our fair rating system that restricts annual rate rises to no greater than the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and why we continue to operate the leanest and most efficient council administration in Tasmania.
This coming year we will all face a range of cost increases as a result of the imposition of the Federal Government’s carbon tax. While the Commonwealth is providing compensation for most families, the tax will undoubtedly impact across the board and particularly through electricity and transport cost.
It will also increase costs for local government and in Brighton, we have estimated that it will increase Council’s costs by 0.7 percent, or about $12 per household. Despite the fact that many councils have already decided they will pass on the full cost to their ratepayers, Brighton Council has determined that it will absorb this additional cost. It will not be passed on to our ratepayers. In a small way, at least, this will help to ease the burden on our community.
In further good news for Brighton ratepayers, the recently announced Hobart CPI figure of 2.1 percent was much lower than economic forecasts meaning a further small reduction in Brighton’s estimated rating income. As a result, the residential rate increase is likely to be just $16.20 for the year and the increase for vacant residential land only $5.
We will achieve sufficient savings to match this reduction in anticipated revenue and again deliver a positive operating result, and balanced budget for Brighton.
I am proud of the achievements of our Council, its management and all our staff who continue to work diligently to achieve the best outcome for ratepayers and our community.
Hopefully, Brighton’s very small rate rise with no carbon tax impact, should help contain cost of living pressures for many families.