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Draft Budget proposes no rates or municipal charge increase

Wednesday 24 June

East Gippsland Shire Council is calling for public feedback on its Draft Budget 2020/21, which proposes no increase in rates or municipal charge on the current financial year.

 

Mayor Cr John White said the draft budget is a considered and responsible approach to the region’s current challenges.

 

“The well documented and challenging events of the past year, and the continuing impacts of drought are not lost on the Council. This budget has been framed accordingly,” Cr White said.

 

“The draft budget we have proposed ensures the organisation is appropriately resourced to deliver the works, services and initiatives set out in the Revised Council Plan 2017-2021. It responds directly to the Plan’s strategic objective that ‘Council is in a strong financial position and can provide for future generations of East Gippslanders’.”

 

The Minister for Local Government has set the rate cap at 2.0% for the 2020/21 year, however Council has proposed that the general rates and municipal charge will remain at the 2019/20 average level of rating for the 2020/21 year. This includes:

  • Farm differential rate be reduced from 82.5% of the general rate to 80%.
  • Commercial/Industrial moves back to 145% of the general rate, noting that there is a rebate of $1million that will be allocated across all Commercial/Industrial ratepayers in 2020/21.
  • Total rates and municipal charges will not increase over the 2019/20 total, but there may be variations to individual rate assessments as a result of the valuations undertaken by the Victorian Valuer General.

 

Individual rate notices may decrease, increase or stay the same depending on property valuations, which are conducted each year by independent contractors working for the Valuer-General Victoria.

 

Budget is responsible, supportive:

 

Chief Executive Officer Anthony Basford said the Draft Budget 2020/21 is responsible, equitable and supports the long-term interests of East Gippsland.

 

“Operating surpluses are expected in all four years of the budget document. This is to ensure Council has some funds in reserve to respond to unexpected events and other contingencies,” Mr Basford said.

 

“The estimated surplus for the 2020/21 year is $19.845M, however it is important to note that when non-recurring capital income is considered the underlying surplus is estimated to be $252,000. The underlying surplus or deficit is an important measure of operational financial performance as it negates the impact of one-off capital income.”

 

The Mayor and CEO strongly encourage the community to have their say on the Draft Budget 2020/21.

 

“Please read the budget document in conjunction with the Council Plan. When read together, these two key strategic documents provide an insight into the multitude of works, services and projects that Council delivers, and what is planned,” Mr Basford said. 

 

“The documents, an information sheet and details on how to make a submission, are available from our website or through any of our customer service and outreach centres.”

 

Submissions close on Friday, July 24 at 12.00 pm. Submissions will be heard by Council on Tuesday, August 11. Council will consider adopting the Draft Budget 2020/21, with or without amendment, at its Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at 6.00 pm.

 

 

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