Mansfield Council Adopts 0% Rate Rise for 2021-22 Budget

Monday, 28 June, 2021 - 16:00

At its meeting last Tuesday, Mansfield Shire Council adopted a 0% increase in its Budget 2021-22, well under the Victorian government’s 1.5% rate rise cap for councils next year.

Mansfield Mayor, Cr Mark Holcombe said Council’s budget delivers a 0% increase as a way of providing some economic relief to the community after the difficulties of 2020.

“Council feels the Budget reflects and progresses our aspiration to live, work and play in an inclusive, dynamic and prosperous place where community spirit is strong and people are empowered to engage in issues that affect their lives,” Cr Holcombe said.

“During April and May Council received 28 submissions from the community on the draft Budget. This was part of our listening process and the community commented on topics ranging from maintenance of the Jamieson Island Reserve to aged care.'

“The functionality of Council’s website was raised in two submissions and as a result, Council decided to allocate $20,000 to provide updates next year. This was made possible as the Victorian Local Government Grants Commission’s indicative allocation of the Financial Assistance Grants is $55,000 higher than in our proposed budget, and this additional income is able to be utilised to improve the website. 

While we can’t act on every suggestion, we really appreciate the time people took to provide their feedback and their contribution was acknowledged at our meeting in May to hear submissions.”

Cr Holcombe explained that a 0% rate revenue rise does not mean that rates notices will be the same as last year.  Rates are set each year on the valuations attributed to individual properties and may vary according to changes in valuations.

“It means that Council will not earn any additional income from rates in 2021-22, except in relation to new properties such as from new subdivisions or new buildings on previously vacant land,” Cr Holcombe said.

Cr Holcombe said Council has been listening to the community and spent considerable time sifting through the previous budget, understanding Council’s services and cost structures and seeking to eliminate unnecessary spending wherever possible.

“The Budget supports our aim to deliver Council’s core roles well,” he said.

The key features of the Budget 2021-22 are:

  • Streetscape improvements in lakeside townships ($100,000)
  • Drainage improvements ($0.7m)
  • Outlying Communities Infrastructure Fund ($50,000)
  • Solar panels on Council buildings ($43,000)
  • Heavy Vehicle Alternative Route ($2.6m Council investment – funded through borrowings)
  • Investment in roads of $2.2m
  • Technology improvements to enable smart digital working practices, improved customer service and efficient service delivery ($130,000)
  • $1.5m to fund a new Heritage facility at the Station Precinct, if external funding is secured.

“Through Council’s strategic planning, we acknowledge the responsibility to consider the future, as well as protect the land and lifestyle our community, businesses and industries enjoy. We have allocated $200,000 for strategic planning capability to progress planning scheme amendments and protect the amenity and land use within the Shire to support population growth,” he said.

“We are also excited that there will be a $558,511 renovation of the Mansfield Library next year which will increase the floor area by 29m2. Thanks to government funding through Living Libraries, Council’s contribution to the project is just $15,000.”

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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2021 - 16:11