THE Derwent Valley Council last night handed down a 3% rate rise for the 2021-22 financial year but a manager confirmed the impact may be as high as 9% for some ratepayers. About half of the $19.5 million budget will be funded by rates and charges, with the remainder to come from grants, user fees, fines, grants, TasWater investment revenue and other income.
The meeting approved a 3% increase in the rates and charges, bringing the total demand on ratepayers to $8,507,762. The budget predicts an operating loss of $1.1 million for the year ahead, down from $2m for the last financial year. The meeting approved the draft fees and charges, annual plan, rates and charges with the endorsement of all councillors except for Cr Paul Belcher.
Cr Belcher questioned the total increase to be paid by ratepayers compared to last year’s notices. “Last year we had a rates increase of 3.95%, which was given back to the ratepayers as a way of saying we didn’t actually raise the rates, but we did,” he said. “This year we’ve got another 3%, so from what people paid last year we’re looking at 7.5 to 8%.”
Mayor Ben Shaw said the rates had risen last year and were rising this year. “You can add them together if you want, you could add them together for the last five years if you like,” he said. Executive manager Quecha Horning asked Cr Belcher if he was asking whether ratepayers would feel the impact of last year’s increase and this year’s increase. Cr Belcher responded: “They WILL feel the impact.”
“Then the answer is yes,” Ms Horning said. “It will vary depending on the property and the services they receive, but there is approximately a seven to nine per cent increase across the properties,” she said.