Ratepayers reap the benefits of sound financial management

BRIGHTON ratepayers are continuing to enjoy the benefits of the municipality’s revolutionary flat-rating system with a minimal rate increase set for next financial year.

The rate increase of $20 per residential property for 2010-11 is the result of Council’s efficiency and the fact that it has been recognised as having the second lowest general rate per capita in Tasmania yet continues to have the highest operating margin (surplus) in the State.

The increase means that every residential ratepayer will pay just 38 cents more a week.  Residential land rates will increase by $5, the same as last financial year and the rate increase for non-residential property will increase by 2.9 per cent.  There will be a $5 increase for garbage collection but the introduction of wheelie bins for recycling in the community will be free of charge to all residents.

Brighton has been recognised in the Auditor-General’s latest report on Local Government as being the best performing Council in the State with the highest operating margin (surplus), the lowest staff radio per head of population and the second lowest rate revenue per head of population.

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said sound financial management coupled with efficient cost containment had allowed Council to continue providing a number of benefits to ratepayers, the largest benefit still being the Council’s successful and revolutionary flat-rate system which is providing a better and fairer way to rate the municipality and pay for services that are supplied to the entire community.

“Our new rate system is working extremely well for Council and for ratepayers and as a result they are not being penalised by hefty hikes in rates each year,” Cr Foster said.

“We know we have come up with the right formula providing a fair rating system for all.”

As part of the 2010-11 budget, Brighton residents will also see the following further improvements to their community:

o   All recycle crates will be replaced with recycle wheelie bins at no additional cost to ratepayers.

o   The start of development of a new park next to the Jordan River.

o   A 66% increase in new capital road expenditure.

o   A 49% increase in renewal capital road expenditure including $250,000 for Crooked Billet Drive and Briggs Road.

o   Continuing development of the extensive shared pathway network to include Gagebrook foreshore, Jordan River at Brighton and improvements to low-lying track work at Old Beach. Residents will also appreciate additional seating and shelters to be provided at strategic locations.

o   Improvements to the Pontville sporting grounds which will include new play equipment and fencing.

o   The new financial year will also see significant expenditure on landscaping throughout the community as the Brighton Bypass construction continues.

“We have developed the right formula for our community and the  2010-11 financial year will see our municipality continue to grow and prosper,” Cr Foster said.