Proposed Wanneroo rates could see some pay more

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The City of Wanneroo says when the Valuer General proceeded with revaluations it resulted in fluctuations in property values across the city. File picture

WHEN rates notices are sent out 56 per cent of Wanneroo residential ratepayers will have a reduction in rates charges while 36 per cent will have to pay a rate increase if the City of Wanneroo adopts the figures it has released for ratepayer feedback.

At an extraordinary special council meeting held on Wednesday, May 20 councillors agreed unanimously to advertise for public comment until June 18 proposed rates in the dollar, which the council said would result in 31 per cent of residential ratepayers having a rate increase of between $0 and $150, compared with 2019-20 charges while 5 per cent face a rate increase greater than $150.

If the proposed differential general rates for the city’s draft 2020-21 Budget are adopted they will also result in 8 per cent of residential ratepayers having no change in their rates charges.

It is also proposed that the council maintain the minimum residential rate at the 2019-20 amount of $988.

The city said the reason the 5 per cent of properties faced a rate increase greater than $150 was due to “significant increase in gross rental values (GRVs) of their properties as determined by the state government”.

In April the council agreed to base the development of the city’s 2020-21 Budget on having a 0 per cent increase on annual rates per property (subject to no change in valuation) and city-set fees and charges, which would have guaranteed that residential rate charges remain unchanged.

But the city said in May when the Valuer General proceeded with revaluations it resulted in fluctuations in property values across the city.

This had led to the city’s proposed rate in the dollar (RID) for its residential improved GRV category for 2020-21 being set at 7.6953.

On April 16 in Reduced GRVs a new headache for councils Yanchep News Online reported that GRVs across the metropolitan area, including the City of Wanneroo, had on average been reduced by 13 per cent – the first time in 20 years that the average gross rental values for metropolitan properties had been lowered.

A Landgate spokeswoman said the new GRVs would take effect on July 1 and that the average 13 per cent reduction was reflective of City of Wanneroo property values, which had seen a decrease from 2015 valuations.

She said all metropolitan local governments were given an early indication of the new valuation rolls in February.

The City of Wanneroo’s proposed rate in the dollar (RID) for its commercial-industrial improved GRV category for 2020-21 is 7.7080 with a minimum of $1344.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the council understood the hardship community members were facing.

“The city is currently reviewing its financial hardship policy and developing support packages for community groups and small business to provide targeted assistance to both residents and businesses who have been negatively impacted by Covid-19,’’ she said.

“The city’s proposed rate in the dollar provides a rates reduction for the majority of all residential ratepayers.

“Planning for the 2020-21 budget has been unlike any other financial year the City of Wanneroo has ever experienced.

“Council has worked hard to minimise long-term financial impacts on its ratepayers while ensuring it can continue to provide essential services and a capital works program designed to stimulate the economy.”