GOLD COAST Councillors have been told to pull in the purse strings, amid fears ratepayers could be headed for a hike in fees.
Mayor Tom Tate has been given an insight into current spending and believes an increase in operational costs could result in a 4 per cent rate rise from July 1.
It’s prompted Cr Tate to order his colleagues to “cherish the value of money”, especially that which is spent on behalf of ratepayers.
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“My message to all my colleagues is, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and go through it line by line and bring it in at CPI (Consumer Price Index),” Cr Tate told myGC.
“If we, as Council, don’t do our homework and make sure that operation costs are paid at CPI, then you will get a blowout,” he added.
During his term as Mayor, Cr Tate has been strict with keeping the average rate rise at or below CPI.
“I think it’s what the people want,” he explains. “But, we they also want upgrades to our roads, and we’re doing record spending there, so it’s a fine balance.
“But that’s capital expenditure, and the main think I’m concerned about is operational expenditure,” Cr Tate said – adding that he wants operational expenditure “streamlined”.
It’s hoped the shock prediction of a 4 per cent rise (equating to $121 for the average rate payer) can be reduced to the current CPI figure of around 1.9 per cent.
That will be slightly more than last financial year, which saw an increase of 1.73 per cent.