Rate changes a ‘fairer’ system – mayor


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has dropped the municipal charge in favour of a waste service charge which it says will ensure a “fairer redistribution of the rate burden”.

The mayor Cr Graham Pittock said the $193 a property waste charge would raise $19 million, an amount that “fully recovers the cost of collection and disposal of refuse”.

The municipal charge for 2014/15 was $180.

The proposed budget released for public comment last week includes raising an extra $5.269m from rates, for a total of $155.344m.

The proposed general rate is .22670 cents in the dollar of a property’s capital improved value (CIV).

This is a 1.8 per cent increase over last year. The rate for vacant commercial and industrial land is to rise by 18.7 per cent to .31738 cents in the dollar of CIV.

The shire’s total 2016/17 income is put at just over $214m.

The budget also shows shire staffing costs will rise by $3.067m  to $70.094m – about 30 per cent of total expenditure.

Cr Pittock said the budget would have a $38.1m operating surplus, “more than $2.5 million over the amount from the previous year, which will go towards delivering more capital works and reducing accumulated debt”.

The budget papers show spending on capital works will drop by $14.166m to $32.659m.

“This is an extremely positive result in light of the challenging economic environment, including the new Fair Go Rates System’s 2.5 per cent rate capping limit; enterprise bargaining agreement increases of 3.3 per cent and significant increases in key long-term outsourcing service contracts not tied to the consumer price index,” Cr Pittock said.

He said the “positive result” added to the shire’s Clean Up and Green Up initiatives as well as its “unwavering move” to be carbon neutral within five years.

Cr Pittock listed budget “highlights” as being:

  • Ongoing delivery of services.
  • Capital works of $32.7m, includes more than $10m on roads; $3.5m on footpaths and “cycleways”; $3.6m on drainage; and $3.4m on parks, open spaces and streetscapes.
  • Paying down the shire’s debt in record time and at record levels.
  • Dropping the municipal charge.
  • Introducing a waste service charge.

“The new waste service charge is intended to recoup the full $19 million cost of waste services including collection and disposal of waste, street sweeping, footpath sweeping, street and drain litter collection as well as beach cleansing,” Cr Pittock said.

“As a result of the abolition of the broad-based municipal charge, council’s rating strategy has been revised and a fairer redistribution of the rate burden has occurred, resulting in the introduction of the waste service charge and an increased weighting for vacant commercial and vacant industrial properties.”

Cr Pittock said the agricultural land differential rate would remain unchanged.

“This has resulted in percentage changes to the majority of rate differentials or categories that are well below the 2.5 per cent capping – as low as 1.7 per cent,” he said.

Written submissions on the proposed 2016/17 budget can be sent Bulent Oz, Financial Controller, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud, 3939 or emailed to customerservice@mornpen.vic.gov.au.

The deadline for submissions is 12 May. Councillors will hear submissions from the public at a committee meeting on 25 May. The budget is online at: www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/

First published in the Mornington News – 12 April 2016


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