Brighton budget locks in low rates

BRIGHTON Council’s budget for the next financial year locks in its low rate regime again keeping rate rises in line with the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

This will be the 17th year that Council has kept rate increases at or below the CPI increase and will maintain Brighton’s position has having the lowest rates in Tasmania. The Council has approved the 2013-14 budget in principle and it will be adopted and the rates set at the June Council meeting.This will see rates for all residential homes in the municipality increase by a flat $19 for the year or less than $1.60 a month. The rate rise for undeveloped residential blocks will rise by just $4 and rates on commercial properties to increase by no more than CPI per sector. Some individual commercial properties may increase by more than CPI and some less following new property revaluations across the municipality to be applied from next financial year.

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said Council recognised that cost of living pressures were impacting on people and had worked hard to keep rates down.

“We are proud of our achievement in this regard and the efficiencies and savings we have been able to make to lessen the impact on ratepayers,” Cr Foster said.

“We are determined to maintain our fair rating policy that keeps rate increases at or below the rate of inflation and proud that we are able to maintain the lowest rates in Tasmania.

“At the same time, our budget for next year includes a number of important initiatives that will enhance the Brighton municipality and improve the services and amenity for our community.”

Key initiatives include:

  1. Extending the footpath from Butler Street Brighton to the Army Camp gates.
  2. Continuing the further development of the popular walking tracks throughout the municipality.
  3. Significant street-scaping within the Brighton township now that Council has taken responsibility for the main road (former Midland Highway).
  4. More than $1 million expenditure on capital works renewing current roads and more that $.5 million spending on the development of new roads.

Cr Foster said in providing for this, the budget again provided for a net surplus and a positive cash flow over the year. Currently, Brighton Council has no debt and the long-term financial plan does not envisage any need to borrow in the future.

“Brighton Council is in an extremely strong position with the capacity to provide the full range of services for ratepayers and the community,” Cr Foster said.

“This is a result of the impressive work of our Council management and employees and the foresight and dedication of councillors.

“We are confident that our budget for the next 12 months will meet the needs of our community and at the same time, keep down the cost burden on ratepayers.

“With the advent of the Brighton Bypass, the development of the Transport Hub and our Industrial Estate, we are on the cusp of significant development.

“Brighton Council is planning some exciting initiatives over the next 12 months and beyond and this budget provides the platform for Council to manage these,” Cr Foster said.