Region’s rates surveyed

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

Albany’s non-rural property owners will this year pay the highest average rates of 23 local governments across the Great Southern and southern Wheatbelt, while rural landowners in one Shire will be billed $9000 on average.

The charges, calculated from recently released budget figures for 2019-20 across the two regions, show the City of Albany’s average rate of about $2010 will lead the Shires of Narrogin and Katanning for the highest average non-rural rates this financial year.

Narrogin’s 2 per cent urban rate increase will see properties charged on average $1870, and Katanning’s town rates will increase to $1686.

A 4 per cent rate rise will see Denmark’s developed residential property owners charged about $1470 on average.

The figures, obtained by dividing expected rate revenue for each local government by the number of properties to be charged, are imperfect but determine a mean charge.

In regional centres, including Albany, Narrogin and Katanning, figures will be affected by higher charges to large commercial properties.

The bulk of local governments, covering an area of about 45,000sqkm, will charge non-rural property owners between $900 and $1400.

At around $900 each, the Shires of Kent, Broomehill-Tambellup and Cranbrook are near equal for the lowest average non-rural rate in the Great Southern.

The shires of Wickepin and West Arthur are set to charge the lowest — less than $660.

The highest average rural rates are set to be for properties in the heartland of WA’s agriculture region. Gnowangerup land owners will on average be slugged about $9200.

Jerramungup is in second place with $6800, with Katanning and Kojonup just behind at about $6500 each.

The City of Albany’s rural property rates will be among the lowest in the two regions.

Properties outside the Albany town will be charged on average $2160, while neighbouring Denmark rural properties are set to be billed $1630.

City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe said when commercial properties were excluded from the calculations, the average house rate was $1692.

Mr Sharpe said that represented “very good value” given the facilities and services provided.

“It’s difficult to make an apples for apples comparisons of average rates between municipalities as there are many variables,” he said.

“While Council always strives to keep rates as low as possible, reducing rates would have an impact on facilities and service delivery.”

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