Council adopt responsible and sustainable budget

Burnie City Council last night adopted its 2014 Annual Plan and Budget Estimates.

Council adopted an increase of 1.4% in general rate.

Mayor Steve Kons said, “Firstly I would like to thank the community for their ongoing support and actions in ensuring that Burnie continues to be a place which leads even during tougher economic times.

“To be completely honest, a 1.4% general rate increase is more than we had wished for. However we are working at seeing that the percentage is kept at a minimum into the future.

“Council is also very aware of the recent revaluations undertaken by the Valuer General. Rate assessments will vary significantly across the municipality as a result. For some, this will make no change to their general rate, but for others there will be fluctuations. There will be winners and losers, due to this process.”

The general rates are levied based on the Annual Assessed Value and is generally considered a reasonable basis for assessing a ratepayer’s capacity to pay. An owner who is not satisfied with their valuation may within 60 days of receipt of the Notice of Valuation, lodge an objection with the Valuer General’s Office.

It must be recognised that 1.4% is the general rate increase and after taking into account the increase of the fire levy set by the State Government and increase in waste management, the rate income will increase by 3%.

Council is in its third year of a six year strategy of increasing waste charges to generate sufficient revenue to offset the operating costs of the new Waste Transfer and Resource Recovery Facility.

Mayor Kons said, “The majority of homes will pay an additional 75 cents per week to cover all the waste management services including a weekly garbage collection and a fortnightly recycling collection. Similar increases are forecast for the coming three years, so that ratepayers are not hit with a large increase in one year.”

Mayor Kons said the Council’s Financial Management Strategy was used to guide Council through the budget deliberations.

The estimates allow for an underlying deficit of $1.127m which is linked to the operational losses that will occur in waste management. The Council decided to ensure short term operating deficits to smooth out the impact of the significant price increase to ratepayers. The strategy is for waste management and Council to return to an operational surplus in 2017. The comprehensive result which includes capital grants and non-recurring items is estimated to be a surplus of $1.676m.

For further information please contact

Libby Dobson
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
(03) 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728