The Ceduna District Council has started the major process to develop an updated strategic plan and a budget for the 2018-19 financial year.
This is a laborious undertaking that is being tackled in a series of workshops which have been attended by all elected members and senior staff.
This will culminate in a final budget after a public consultation process whereby all community members will have an opportunity to have a say.
It is still early in the process, however one thing that has already been established is the need to concentrate on maintaining all existing infrastructure to ensure that it is kept in a good operating order.
It is always tempting to keep building new items however it is crucial that we do not allow existing infrastructure items to deteriorate. The budget process is poorly understood by many but the simple principle is that the council first establish the amount of a rate increase or decrease then craft the expenditure and income to suit.
A further poorly understood fact is that increases in land values do not automatically result in a rate increase.
As an example land values could hypothetically double and if the rate in the dollar amount is halved then the total rate income would be unchanged.
The amount of the rate in the dollar is adjusted to maintain the amount of income that the council budgets for.
This process still results in variations between individual rate payers.
Individuals may find their neighbour getting a reduction whereas theirs could increase because of the variation in each land valuation.
The percentage of rate increase or reduction is expressed as an average overall so you may find that some individual rate changes are quite different.
Some of the individual increases are balanced out through rate capping to ensure that no one is faced with a massive change.
Please participate in the community consultation later this year to have your say.
Ceduna District Council mayor
HAVE YOUR SAY
- What would you like to see included in the Ceduna District Council’s budget for 2018-19?
- Email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org