City of Rockingham ratepayers could be hit with a 3.9 per cent rate increase after councillors agreed to advertise the new proposed rates for the upcoming 2022-23 financial year.
According to the city’s business plan, about $99.88 million is needed to be generated in the 2022-23 financial year and the rates will be used across a wide range of current and future services for the city.
The proposed 3.9 per cent rise would see minimum residential rates increase from $1218 to $1266.
Following last night’s council meeting, councillor Dawn Jecks put forward an alternate motion seeking a rise of 2.5 per cent instead of the proposed 3.9 per cent.
She said mortgage stretch and rental crisis is a reality for many people living in the City of Rockingham.
“Financial pressures of our resident are continuing to increase, the threat of increases to housing loan rates and continuing rate rises for rentals in our area are ever present”, Cr Jecks said.
“Residents have expressed that the pandemic has impacted negatively on their incomes and they have not yet had time to recover.”
“We need to show residents that we are doing what we can, where we can, by keeping rates as low as we can,” she said.
Councillor Leigh Liley said that in thinking about the city, the council needed to be “future-proofing” Rockingham and providing for the city’s next generation.
She said that with the current state of the economy, home interest rates were a lot lower than a few years ago.
“We may need to fork out a lot of extra money; building costs are going to increase because of back end supply,” she said.
“We’re in the perfect position now to increase rates.”
Cr Jeck’s alternate motion was lost 6-5, with councillors instead endorsing the committee recommendation to put the 3.9 per cent increase out for public comment.
The public comment period will be open for 28 days before a final decision is made.