Rates up, levies down: Lockyer council hands down its budget
"There's nothing sexy about this budget."
That's how Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan described the council's 2019/20 budget as she handed it down today, and said it had "no frills".
"We have based our budgets on the fundamental principles of what's best for the region and not based on political agendas or election cycles," Cr Milligan said.
For the fourth year in a row, the council will deliver an operational surplus of $2.75 million.
Despite the surplus and increased land valuations for many properties, two thirds of ratepayers will receive a rate increase of just $1-a-week, and some will even see a decrease in their rates.
Dramatic changes in land valuations delivered by the state government made council's job difficult, with new rating system needing to be implemented to ensure rate increases were curtailed.
The waste management levy will also be reduced by $10 while the rural fire service will fall by $3, and the Mayor was pleased to be able to provide the reduced levies.
"It's not often that you see council's decrease their levies, because it is easy to allow those levies to roll on year-by-year, but for us it is about being responsible - don't ask for something you don't require," she said.
Debt reduction is again a centre point of this year's budget, and Cr Milligan announced the council had paid down $12 million in debt during the term of the current council.
Finance portfolio Councillor Chris Wilson said the reduction in debt levels was the legacy item of the council.
"It's future proofing our council," Cr Wilson said.
"It's no secret at the start of this term our council was near it's limit as far as borrowing capacaity goes.
"Now we've got a buffer there to future proof the council for any shocks that may occur."
How the council will spend its revenue:
- $15.07 million on maintaining roads, bridges and storm water drainage plus an additional $11.11 million in infrastructure related capital projects
- $1.75 million on the environment
- $670,000 on community grants and event support
- $9.12 million on operating, maintaining and upgrading libraries and community facilities
- $2.48 million on parks and gardens
- $6.10 million on health and waste management