Rate capping is back on the table in SA

The South Australian Government has announced it will again attempt to instigate an arbitrary rate cap on South Australian councils.

The news comes less than a year after the Government’s Solid Waste Levy was increased by 40 percent – costing ratepayers an extra $8.5 million.

Local Government Association of South Australia President, Sam Telfer, said the decision was hypocritical, given the significant costs the State continues to shift to local government.

“The Solid Waste Levy, NRM collection costs and community housing rebates are all driving upward pressure on council budgets,” said Mayor Telfer.

“The State Government is not the solution to rising council rates, they have been significantly adding to them.

“Despite ongoing cost shifting, last year SA councils passed some of their lowest rate increases in years.

“In contrast, the State Government put their own fees and charges up by around 5 percent, which was much higher than average council rate increases.

“This Government should be focussing on their own escalating taxes and levies, and leave councils to get on with the business of serving their communities.”

Mayor Telfer said councils had demonstrated they are best placed to determine local needs and funding priorities.

“Keeping rate increases down is our responsibility, and we don’t need more legislation and red tape to do this,” Mayor Telfer said.

“Councils are elected by and accountable to their communities, and we are the only tier of government that consults on annual budgets.

“The amount of revenue we collect and spend should be decided locally, not by politicians on North Terrace.”