Following on from this mornings blog post I wish to make some other observations about Council Rate Increases and how they should be rated.
This morning I questioned why they are always compared to CPI by the media.
I wish to throw two thoughts out there for people to consider. The first, which I cover in this blog post, is what backs up the level of rates Councils charge. The second I will cover in another and separate blog post.
Council rates provide the opportunity to provide services to the local community. Without rates we do not provide rubbish collection, library services or community centres. We don’t provide facilities for our community sporting groups to provide exercise and activity opportunists for or community. The list goes on.
Each year Council considers a business plan for the coming 12 months and a long the financial strategy. This plan determines which services are to be provided and is put out to the public for their input.
The plan composes all the programs that Council considers should be part of creating and sustaining their community and providing an environment for good living. This is all about identifying what we can do for our residents and businesses, costing them out so we know the impact on our resources. We then debate which programs should have the highest priority and whether or not we can implement them.
And I must say that this year we had real problems determining which programs were worthy of continuing or starting afresh and/or which programs should be slowed, stopped or not even started. A debate over programs all of which will enhance the livability of the neighbourhoods we serve.
Now…Unlike Federal & State Governments we take this plan out to our people for their input. Residents and businesses get the opportunity to advise us which programs they would continue or which ones they would axe. If they do not like the amount of rates they are more than welcome to suggest which programs to keep and which to get rid of.
The final rate increase is set only after this procedure has been completed, the public have had their say and we as elected members make our final determination of which programs to proceed with.
This years plan has been available for public scrutiny for a month or more now and public submissions close tomorrow. It can be found on our have your say webpage