08 May 2016
How much should the Unley rate rise be?
There are those that think the rate rise should be as low as possible (nearly everyone) and those that think it should be raised at a level that our community can bear. The current proposed rate increase is likely to be 2.2% which I understand to be lower than all other councils in SA. The 2.2% covers on ongoing expenditure and not any new initiatives, these are all covered by borrowings,and that in the 2016/7 budget is nearly $5 million. While the Council's capacity to service a debt level of what will be some $13 million is unquestionable I am still wondering if we wouldn't be better off to borrow a little less and increase the rate rise to 3%? If you read about the outburst from Cr Hudson at a recent meeting this is what he was trying to tell the meeting. It certainly wasn't the first time that he questioned this issue and no doubt it won't be the last. The problem, in my opinion, is the vexed question of what is a new initiative? Certainly the Goodwood Rd upgrade is covered by this but should putting more money into minor landscaping projects, trialling an initiative to reduce waste going to landfill or implementing some of the Cycle and Walking Plan? It is my opinion that these initiatives are the rats and mice of what Council does and should be covered by rate rises. If we don't want to raise the rate then they shouldn't be in the budget! Take time to read the budget proposal and have your say (http://yoursay.unley.sa.gov.au/draft-annual-business-plan-2016-17). This is the most important thing that Council does and there are rarely more than a dozen comments.