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How does Murray Bridge’s 6.9 per cent rate rise compare to other councils?
The city’s council will increase property rates in 2023-24. We take a look at what neighbouring districts are doing.
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Murray Bridge’s councillors have locked in a 6.9 per cent property rate increase for 2023-24 after finalising the city’s budget.
However, the hike is entirely due to a meteoric rise in local property values.
The value of all rateable land in the Murray Bridge district went up by more than $1 billion over the past year, according to the state Valuer-General – that’s a 24% increase.
In fact, the council will reduce the rate in the dollar it charges property owners by 10%.
New Councillor Tom Haig said an “extraordinary” amount of work had gone into the council’s business plan.
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“It hasn’t been an easy task,” he said.
“Council’s costs have, in some cases, trebled or quadrupled the … inflation rate.”
Cr Airlie Keen said she had pressed staff to find still more savings, but “answers came back to me to say that no, that wasn’t possible, we’ve tightened our belts as much as we can”.
In a statement, Mayor Wayne Thorley said the council had aimed to shield ratepayers from as much financial pain as possible.
How does Murray Bridge’s rate increase compare?
As far as recent history goes, this rate increase is pretty big for Murray Bridge.
What about Murray Bridge’s neighbours, though?
Let’s compare, starting with the council which charges the lowest rate in the dollar…
Rates bill increase: 9.5%
Rate in the dollar: 0.28251c
Typical rates bill: $999 (based on a $265,000 home at Tailem Bend)
Councillors tried to limit the rate increase proposed in the Coorong district this year, but with one of the biggest road networks in the state to maintain, that’s no mean feat.
The Coorong council levies a $150 fixed charge in addition to the rate in the dollar.
Rates bill increase: 5.9%
Rate in the dollar: 0.3255c
Typical rates bill: $1853 (based on a $569,250 home at Strathalbyn)
Property values are right up there in a community wedged between the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu, and that has a big impact on how much people will pay.
Rates bill increase: 5.6%
Rate in the dollar: 0.329511c
Typical rates bill: $1994 (based on a $605,000 home in Mount Barker)
The Adelaide Hills community might be perceived as more affluent than Murray Bridge, but it, too will face a challenge with finite resources and the need to build basic infrastructure such as footpaths and sewers.
Karoonda East Murray
Rates bill increase: 3% plus CPI (presumably for a total of 10%)
Rate in the dollar: 0.3743c
Typical rates bill: $664 (based on a $177,500 home at Karoonda)
Council rates have typically been among the most affordable in the state in this rural district, which has a population of just over 1000 people and very reasonable house prices.
Rates bill increase: 10.2%
Rate in the dollar: 0.4654c
Typical rates bill: $1745 (based on a $375,000 home at Mannum)
Up river, the Mid Murray council will increase rates sharply in an attempt to correct a financial course the Essential Services Commission of South Australia described as “potentially unsustainable” – and that was before the $7 million damage bill from the floods came in.
Rates bill increase: 6.9%
Rate in the dollar: 0.57146c
Typical rates bill: $2057 (based on a $360,000 home in Murray Bridge)
Yeah, Murray Bridge doesn’t grade out too well here.
Of the six neighbouring councils we looked at, ratepayers in the rural city pay the highest rate in the dollar and – despite mid-range property values – the highest bills, too.
Is that what you expected?
Leave a comment below and let us know.