RATEPAYERS are being asked to shoulder a five per cent increase in council rates over the next 12 months.
The rate rise will help fund the Rural City of Wangaratta’s draft 2013/14 budget, set to be publicly unveiled at a special meeting of council at the Ovens Street chambers tomorrow night, from 7.30pm.
Council’s proposed draft budget totals $65.96m, with $24.4m to be raised through rates.
It has a $17.04m capital works program, and draws upon a new $2.2m loan, and $3.26m in cash reserves.
Mayor Rozi Parisotto said the rate rise allows council to “maintain existing service levels, fund a number of new initiatives and continue to allocate additional funds to renew infrastructure”.
The increase also helps to pay for some other significant budget impacts on council.
These include a State Government landfill levy, $3.2m superannuation liability, and additional costs associated with council’s governance ‘crisis’, which saw Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell intervene and appoint an inspector two months ago.