Katanning council keeps rates on hold for next financial year

Sarah MakseGreat Southern Herald
Shire of Katanning president Liz Guidera and chief executive Julian Murphy.
Camera IconShire of Katanning president Liz Guidera and chief executive Julian Murphy. Credit: Saskia Adysti

Rates will be frozen for Katanning residents over the next financial year after councillors voted to maintain the same rate in the dollar at their meeting last month.

Shire of Katanning councillors voted on the move in a bid to support the community in the financial aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many ratepayers across Katanning will pay similar or the same rates as last year.

But because of changes by the valuer general on unimproved valuation properties, some might see a change in their rates.

In the past financial year, Landgate revalued unimproved Shire properties, leading to an increase of up to 9 per cent in the value of their properties.

In a report put to the council ahead of the meeting, Shire corporate and community executive manager Lisa Hannagan said the Shire was in a “sound financial position” to forgo a rate increase over the next year.

“The strong growth in Shire rural land values is seen as a positive indicator going forward, and council are in a sound financial position to be able to forgo a rate increase for the 2020-21 financial year,” Ms Hannagan said.

A statement from the Shire said like many businesses, it had been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the council and officers had worked to “minimise the impacts on the community” and provide a service “wherever possible”.

Shire of Katanning president Liz Guidera said the Shire had embraced the State Government’s recommendations.

“The Premier made the request of all councils to prepare our budgets with a zero per cent increase,” she said.

“The council and staff at the Shire of Katanning have embraced this direction not to impose increased costs on our community.”

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