Brighton rates to rise by just 15 cents per household

BRIGHTON ratepayers will see their household rates rise by just 15 cents a week next financial year following Council’s continued support of its fair rating policy that ties rises to no more than the annual CPI increase.

The Brighton Council’s budget for 2015-2016 was adopted in principle at its May meeting. This included a rate rise of 0.9 percent (the annual Consumer Price Index increase for Hobart) providing a highest increase across the municipality for a residential home of $8 or just 15c per week. The highest increase for a residential land block will be $2 which equates to just .04 cents  a week.

Mayor Tony Foster said Brighton’s fair rating policy featuring a flat rate for residential properties ensured that Brighton ratepayers continued to enjoy the lowest rates per population in Tasmania.

He said this was the 19th year in succession that Brighton had maintained rate increases at, or below, the rate of inflation and he was confident this approach provided the best means of staving off the ideological push for forced council amalgamations.

“Many Tasmanian councils have already got their businesses in order with elected councilors and aldermen telling their general managers that they will not countenance rate rises this year above the 0.9 percent Hobart CPI increase. And they are also budgeting for surpluses.

“It is all about affordability for ratepayers and efficiency in local government if we want avoid the prospect of the government of the day forcing councils to amalgamate in the mistaken belief that this alone can achieve efficiency.

“Mayors, councillors and aldermen must now make the hard decisions and demand their respective managements to respond positively.”

Mayor Foster said the Brighton budget was cash positive and would allow for a healthy service.

“This is despite cuts in Federal grants and councils providing support to the State Government through reduced water dividends with the removal of TasWater’s headworks’ charges at a time when TasNetworks increased its headworks’ charges to approximately $8000 per property.

“Brighton Council’s strong financial position will allow for a significant increase in capital expenditure next financial year that will benefit the entire community.

“Because of our operational efficiency and fair rating regime, we have been able keep down rates, provide the full range of local government services, and at the same time, guarantee that ratepayers are protected from major rises as a result of revaluations or other factors.

“The effectiveness of our operations, strong financial management, coupled with our commitment to shared services with other like-minded Councils means that Brighton ratepayers continue to benefit from the full range of services provided at the lowest possible cost,” Mayor Foster said.

The Brighton Council budget and rate determination will be officially passed at Council’s June meeting.