Kwinana residential ratepayers may be slugged with a higher-than-average rate increase next financial year, should the City of Kwinana’s proposed rates be passed come budget time. Ratepayers have been invited to submit their feedback on a 3.95 per cent rate increase from Monday, the same increase as last year, after the City’s proposed differential rating categories were passed at Wednesday’s council meeting. But while the proposed rate increase works out to an average 3.95 per cent, ratepayers that fall under two categories are facing an even steeper rise. The improved residential category could see rates increase by more than 4 per cent — a proposed 4.17 per cent — bumping up rate payments from last year’s minimum $1126 to $1170, or an increase of $44. Ratepayers falling under the vacant category could face a bigger percentage hike still, with the proposed 6.70 per cent increase to set rates at an equal footing with improved residential at $1170. The City has attributed these higher increases to its harmonisation process in a bid to simplify its rating structure, which it has been implementing since the 2018-19 financial year. The final stage is set for the upcoming 2023-24 financial year and will see the improved residential and improved special residential categories merge to become “improved residential”, with vacant residential and vacant non-residential to merge to become “vacant”. The remaining categories would see percentage increases on par with the proposed 3.95 per cent. The rural category would see a 3.93 per cent rise to $1170, whereas both general industrial and mining and industrial would increase to $1524, up 3.97 per cent and 3.93 per cent respectively. Despite the City’s long-term financial plan forecasting a 3 per cent increase overall, this was based around previous projections of the consumer price index and local government cost index. Mayor Carol Adams said higher-than-predicted inflation had resulted in a slightly higher proposed rate, but the City had chosen not to pass on all inflated costs to its ratepayers. “The council works diligently to try and keep rate increases at a minimum, despite being subject to the same cost increase impacting our local community,” Ms Adams said. “We are pleased that with the continued effort to find efficiencies in the organisation, we have been able to keep the increase below inflation rates while still maintaining the required level of service.” Should the suggested rates be passed in the upcoming 2023-24 budget, the City will generate $47,682,055 in rates income for City services. The mayor encouraged residents to have their say, with the proposed rates to be advertised for 21 days before feedback is taken back to the City for consideration. “The City is committed to working with its ratepayers to find a solution that meets their needs,” Ms Adams said. “Any ratepayer in need of assistance is encouraged to contact our friendly rates team on 9439 0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.” Ratepayers can submit feedback on the City’s rates from May 1 by visiting, www.lovemykwinana.com. For more information about rates, visit www.kwinana.wa.gov.au/rates.