Region’s rates compared

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Albany from Mt Melville.
Camera IconAlbany from Mt Melville. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A 2.95 per cent rate increase for Albany in 2019-20 would deliver the highest average residential rates proposed so far for the region.

The City’s 2019-20 draft budget, released last week, proposed an average residential rate for Albany of about $2012 — the highest of five Great Southern and Southern Wheatbelt local governments to have revealed their proposals.

Average rural property rates within the City, which stretches east of Denmark to Wellstead, would increase to $2159.

Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe said the rate increase was necessary to provide “the services and facilities that keep Albany a liveable and forward-thinking community”.

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The shires of Denmark, Plantagenet, Jerramungup and Cranbrook have proposed rate increases from below 2 per cent to 4 per cent.

While none of those has released budget papers, an estimated average rate could be determined using last year’s figures.

Averages were determined by dividing the expected yield of rate income by the number of properties in each category.

Due to these figures being based on the number of properties in a local government in the previous financial year, any increase in rural or non-rural properties during 2018-19 is likely to have a small impact on accuracy of the final estimate.

Based on its 2018-19 budget, the Shire of Denmark’s new average rate for developed rural properties would be about $1630 after its proposed 4 per cent rate increase.

The rate for lifestyle and residential properties in Denmark would average $1501 and $1314 respectively.

In the Shire of Plantagenet (3.25 per cent increase) average non-rural property rates would rise to $1380, while average rural costs would be about $2800.

The Shire of Jerramungup (1.89 per cent increase) would see its average residential rate grow to about $1040, and its average rural rate would be above $6800.

In Cranbrook (2.5 per cent increase), average residential rates would rise to $914, while average rural rates would sit at $4633.

The Shire of Cuballing near Narrogin is also expected to propose a 5 per cent increase — the highest yet for the region — but neither its 2018 nor 2019 budget is available online for comparison.

There are 19 local governments in the two regions still preparing figures, which are expected by late July or early August.

The Albany council is set to vote on the budget at a July 23 meeting.

Correction: A previous version of this article claimed Jerramungup’s average rural rate would be $7428.

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