Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan
At its meeting held on Tuesday 26 June 2018, Council adopted its Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan 2018/2019 following community consultation, including a live Facebook Q&A.
So what's in the Budget?
Council will deliver valued infrastructure projects, programs and services with a $148.6 million budget, that includes over $60 million on capital works.
The maintenance of aging infrastructure, planning for rapid population growth and maintaining excellence in program and service delivery have all been challenges this budget had to meet with a 2.25 per cent rate cap imposed by the Victorian Government.
Essential services that focus on building healthy and inclusive communities, quality places and spaces, a connected city that is clean and green and that supports economic prosperity were all driving forces in delivering a fiscally responsible budget that the community have come to rightfully expect from Council.
Over 70 services across the areas of recreation, libraries, maternal and child health, animal management, sustainability, infrastructure, planning and other services are catered for in this budget, and spending of over $100 million on maintaining services that are well-used and accessible by the community.
As required by the State Government, Council continues to collect and forward the proceeds of the Landfill and Fire Services levies.
Key projects for 2018/2019
Some key projects for 2018/2019 include:
- Parks, Open Space and Streetscape’s $8.247 million including the planting of trees in streets, boulevards, and parks across the City
- Footpath and cycle ways $2.1 million
- $8.227 million to improve Council-owned roads
- Retention of the pensioner rebate rate at $189.55
- $4.3 million - the Church Street Children’s Centre will be redeveloped to increase the number of community based child care and kindergarten places in Footscray
- $100,000 allocated for green street lights.
Long Term Financial Strategy and Plan
Our Long Term Financial Strategy and Plan also takes into consideration coming changes to the regularity of land valuations and the introduction of a new rating system. The Valuer-General will now be the sole authority on land valuations that will take place annually instead of bi-annually.
It is important to note that property revaluations do not increase the amount of rate revenue raised by Council - it only redistributes who pays the rates.
New rating system
Council is also expected, in accordance with State Government legislation, to introduce a new rating system in coming years. This system is called the Capital Improved Value (CIV) rating system and will be applied across all municipalities. We currently use the Net Annual Value (NAV) rating system, proven to be the most fair for our residents. The CIV is the site value plus any improvements to the land (such as the additions of structures like additional dwellings or other structures).
Further information will be communicated through our regular channels and social media networks on the new rating systems once the State Government confirms the legislation.