Manjimup ratepayers will pay a minimum of 3.9% more this financial year.
Rates will increase by at least $27 — from $692 to $719 — slightly lower than last year’s 5.5% rise.
Manjimup shire president Wade De Campo said council had tried to take into account the financial pressures ratepayers were under from the local and global economies.
Council had shaved $600,000 off the budget in order to ‘get it where they wanted’, he said.
‘‘We try to manage ratepayers’ money like it was our own — that is, in a responsible manner the way any private enterprise would,’’ Cr De Campo said.
‘‘We ensure we spend frugally in areas that we need to in order to get good outcomes for the community and hopefully create a place people are proud to live in.’’
While the carbon tax had not affected the council’s budget calculations yet, it was expected to in the future, Cr De Campo said.
‘‘The carbon tax will only have a minimal effect on what we are doing, but that is not to say it won’t have more of an effect in the future,’’ he said.
‘‘We will have to wait and see how it affects our waste costs, but obviously it is already affecting our electricity bills in a relatively small way.’’
Manjimup Chamber of Commerce president NathanWalter said while he appreciated the council’s efforts to keep the rate rise just above the WA inflation figure, the increase would still be painful for ratepayers.
‘‘Ratepayers will be happy with 3.9 per cent compared to 5.5% last year, but it’s still a kick in the guts for those who are already struggling in the face of the carbon tax and increasing food costs,’’ Mr Walter said.
While the national inflation rate is only 1.2%, WA’s is 3.6%, largely due to the State’s booming mining sector, he said.‘‘The trouble is what’s happening in the mining sector is not reflected in our local economy, where most people don’t have much left over from their pay each week,’’ he said.
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