Proposed 2018-19 budget released for comment
Published on 09 April 2018
The City of Launceston has released its draft 2018-19 annual plan and budget for public comment.
Proposed 2018-19 fees and charges
Proposed 2018-19 statutory estimates(PDF, 1MB)
Proposed 2018-19 capital works program(PDF, 530KB)
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Council faced a number of challenges when developing its budget for the upcoming financial year, yet there was a determination within the organisation to maintain an underlying surplus of $188,000.
Mayor van Zetten said issues such as the upcoming Local Government elections in October, a reduced TasWater distribution, an increase in depreciation and ongoing maintenance costs, an increase in the cost of gas, increased bank fees for EFT transactions, as well as an increase in labour costs following EBA negotiations had put extraneous pressures on the Council from a financial perspective.
The proposed budget includes capital expenditure of $20.8 million. Capital projects for the 2018-19 financial year include $1.1 million for parks and playground upgrades, $5.43 million for road upgrades, $2.1 million for University of Tasmania Stadium and Invermay Park, $420,000 for upgrades of the Alexandra Suspension Bridge, $425,000 for footpaths, $720,000 for stormwater upgrades, and $210,000 for public toilet replacement in the Paterson Street West car park.
In general the proposed rates have been increased by 2.8% for the 2018/19 year. Residential properties have also been rated to cover a charge of $4 for the proposed one entry token provided for the Launceston Waste Centre & Transfer Station. Rates for primary production are proposed to have a 1.17% increase to align that category with commercial.
The median residential rate in the Launceston municipality is now $1469.24, which includes $172.58 for the Fire Service Levy and $105 for waste charges.
Mayor van Zetten said he believed the rate increase was kept as low as possible - which in real terms is a rise of $42.68 for the average residential ratepayer.
The Council has also determined to consider passing on the Fire Service Levy which it collects on behalf of the State Government, to all retirement homes.
"As a Council, we have a legal obligation to pay the Fire Service Levy. Up until now, retirement homes have received a rates remission for this, which has been absorbed by Council," Mayor van Zetten said.
"That has meant that the Council's ratepayers have effectively been subsidising that remission.
"We no longer believe that is sustainable nor equitable for Council and its ratepayers."
Submissions on the proposed budget can be made in writing until 5pm on Monday, April 30 by email to: ProposedBudget2019@launceston.tas.gov.au or addressed to the General Manager, City of Launceston, PO Box 396 Launceston, 7250.