Horsham Rural City Council’s proposed 2021-2022 budget was on public exhibition until Monday, June 7. Submissions are now closed.
An engagement report will be prepared and then considered by Council.
Rates have been increased by the 1.5 per cent ministerial cap, farm differentials have been reduced and the municipal charge has been decreased from $274 to $240.
The draft Budget also includes 27 per cent increase in spending on rural roads and infrastructure.
The overall capital works program is $20.3 million, which includes allocations to upgrade Horsham Caravan Park, the construction of accessible change rooms at Horsham Aquatic Centre and the refurbishment of Horsham Town Hall’s heritage floor. Funding will also go towards riverfront developments and implementation of the City to River Masterplan.
The 2021-22 works are funded from $8.9 million in external grants, $6 million from general revenues, $4.76 million from cash reserves and the balance of $0.62 from asset sales.
Farm values have increased by 27.42 per cent in the past 12 months, prompting Council to propose a further eight per cent discount to the agricultural sector by reducing the differential from 67 per cent to 59 per cent. This means that farmers will pay rates on 59 per cent of the value of their properties. If Council were not to adjust the differential, the farm sector increase would be approximately 17.9 per cent.
Rates for the residential sector will rise by 3.01 percent, commercial will fall by 4.33 per cent and Industrial will increase by 0.18 per cent.
There are no external borrowings planned for this year.