Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan
We have taken the important step of introducing a new rating system in line with the State Government’s proposed changes to the Local Government Act.
We held community forums to gain feedback on a preferred rating system that was equitable for all our landholders and provided the funds required to strategically meet the challenges that our municipality manages.
This includes maintaining ageing infrastructure, investing in new infrastructure that is necessary for a community that is growing in population and is in line with our vision for a vibrant, diverse and progressive city that is committed to a sustainable future as outlined in the Council Plan 2017-21. We have also taken into consideration the 2.5% rate cap imposed by the Victorian Government.
As a result of the forums, we have moved from a NAV system of rating to CIV system of rating. The new system enables residents to see how much they are paying for waste management. This cost was previously absorbed into the overall rates residents paid. The calculation for CIV has a general rate for residents and a differential rate is applied to other types of land, such as commercial, industrial and vacant land.
In this budget we have also proposed to increase the Pensioner Rate Rebate Scheme for all Maribyrnong pensioners eligible to participate in the State Government Pensioner Remission Scheme from $189.55 to $194.30 (an increase of 2.5%).
We’re aware of how annual valuations have resulted in substantial increases in rates for some residents, and while valuations are a matter for the Valuer General’s office, we have attempted to help residents with the transition by the introduction of a Rate Rebate Scheme for Residential properties that have a rates increase of equal to or greater than 30%.
The proposed Budget has been developed substantively in line with Council’s Long Term Financial Strategy and Plan. We are working with an overall budget of $158 million, $61.212 million for capital and improvement works.
Some of the key projects proposed are:
- parks and open space and streetscape’s $14.4 million of capital and improvement works including
- the planting of trees in streets, boulevardes, and parks across the City
- $15.7 million to improve Council-owned roads across the City
- increasing the pensioner rebate rate to $194.30
- delivering the Scovell Reserve Pavilion
- installation of green street lights $110,000
- $4.2 million to build and improve footpath and cycle ways
We continue to seek government funding and to develop partnerships to deliver projects such as the $6 million for improvements to the Footscray Wharf and Promenade (this project includes $4 million in funding from the Westgate Tunnel project).
Council continues to balance a budget that maintains excellence in service delivery across its many valued services to result in a thriving community.