More than $20 million of capital works will proceed during the next 12 months following the adoption of the 2021/2022 Horsham Rural City Council Budget at Monday’s June Meeting.
The key financial document for the coming 12 months outlines how Council will spend revenue generated through rates, charges and grants during 2021/2022.
“Council presented to the community during April and May 2021 a proposed budget that maintains current services, supports projects and invests in community-led initiatives that will grow the municipality now and in the future,” Mayor Robyn Gulline said.
In the 2021-22 Budget, Council will increase spending on rural roads and infrastructure by 27 per cent or $1.56 million.
Key projects include an upgrade for Horsham Caravan Park, the construction of accessible change rooms at Horsham Aquatic Centre and the refurbishment of Horsham Town Hall’s heritage floor.
Funding will also go towards riverfront developments and implementation of the City to River Masterplan, along with many other projects across the municipality.
Also adopted at the June 2021 Council Meeting was the Revenue and Rating Plan, which provides in-depth details regarding Council’s revenue sources, as well as how rates and charges are calculated and relevant policies that align with Council’s financial operations.
Rates have been increased by the 1.5 per cent ministerial rate cap, farm differentials have been reduced from 67 per cent to 59 per cent and the municipal charge has been decreased from $274 to $240.
Cr Gulline said significant consideration was given to the distortion of the relative share of rates between sectors as a result of the rapid rise in farm valuations compared to the rest of the municipality.
“The farm sector had one of its most productive years on record during the 2020 season and this was on the back of a strong year in 2019,” she said.
“Farm values rose by 27.42 per cent and residential by 4.46 per cent. This difference is significant and in recognition of that, Council has further reduced the farm differential from 67 per cent to 59 per cent to lessen the impact of this change,” Cr Gulline said.
The average contribution of rates for the agricultural sector rises by 10.65 per cent. However If Council was not to adjust the differential, the farm sector increase would have been 17.9 per cent.
“Reducing the municipal charge from $274 to $240 will help ratepayers with lower valued properties,” she said.
“Council thanks the community for their input into the 2021/2022 Budget and looks forward to working together to implement the extensive projects and services outlined in the document,” Cr Gulline said.