Perth city budget raises fees but aims to revitalise city
The City of Perth budget for 2014/15 was passed on June 25, setting the stage for the city's expansion, growth and finances in the year to come. A number of changes will hit the city's residents and ratepayers, influencing their finances for the coming year and likely affecting the course of the city's property market.
One of the changes that will affect Perth residents and rental property owners is the revaluation of the Gross Rental Value of properties in the city boundaries. The reevaluation takes place every three years by the valuer-general. The city typically attempts to offset the impact of revaluation by adjusting rates.
"The City [of Perth] made every effort to ensure there was no substantial increase in the proportion of annual revenue derived from rates," insisted Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi in a June 25 release.
Ms Scaffidi noted that rates increased by 4.9 per cent, a number comparable to increases in other local government areas, and largely due to an expected increase in the Consumer Price Index.
In addition to this, however, Perth residents will be seeing a 10 per cent hike in parking fees starting from July 1, and a rise in rubbish collection fees.
Higher charges to fund improvements in infrastructure
Increases in charges for ratepayers were going to improving quality of life in Perth, stressed Ms Scaffidi.
The city will see street improvements costing $9.5 million to improve traffic flows and choice for commuters. The central thoroughfare of Wellington Street will receive $5.3 million worth of renovations, including granite footpath paving, street furniture, a two-way cycle path and improved lighting.
These projects will also improve the functionality of other major projects, such as the Perth City Link, a key feature of the plan to revitalise the city.
Owners of residential property will also want to take note of the improvements coming to Northbridge Piazza, the home of Perth's free outdoor cinema, which will get a new, upgraded screen. Meanwhile, the Perth Library and plaza in Hay Street will receive $24.6 million of funding. All of these developments in the city's infrastructure will not only turn the city into a more desirable place for residents - they will also likely raise property prices further in the city.
Other areas of the city's infrastructure which are receiving funding from the budget include various urban regeneration projects, such as the Perth City Link, as well improvements to drainage and parks and reserves.
All of these investments will likely make up for the increases in rates and fees for residents, and as real estate becomes more desirable in the city, buying a property in Perth may become a higher priority.