Meander Valley Council to vote on revised rate rise of 4 per cent

Meander Valley Council offices at Westbury.
Meander Valley Council offices at Westbury.

The Meander Valley Council has revised its proposed 5 per cent rate rise and lowered it to 4.46 per cent. 

The council will vote on the recommendation at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

At last month’s meeting the council proposed a 5 per cent rate increase due to a loss of funding from TasWater dividends. 

Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the council cut a “number of small one-off expenses” to reduce the rise.

 “We’ve now had a good look at the whole budget and removed some expenses,” he said. 

“The councillors all engaged in that process really well and they asked lots of questions of the staff and made them do a lot of homework.”

Cr Perkins said the council already ran a “tight ship”.

“There weren’t a lot of savings that could be made without significant reduction to our service levels,” he said. 

“The ratepayers can be confident that, as councillors, we have had a hard look at the budget to try and keep our costs down.”

The percentage may look steep, but it’s not as large as one may think.

Craig Perkins

The council’s July agenda says it has the lowest residential rates of any northern council, and the second lowest business rates. 

“Whilst it is one of the highest rate rises in the North, in real terms, it is still less than what most other councils would have on a residential property,” Cr Perkins said.  

“The percentage may look steep, but it’s not as large as one may think.”

In June the council voted to defer the rate increase so it could find a way to reduce the proposed rise. 

All councils lost about $300,000 of dividends from TasWater.

Other councils have been able to keep their rate rises to a minimum.

The Meander Valley Council’s proposed rise is the highest yet.

Councils have until August’s end to set their rate and budget recommendations.