Council rates spiralling out of control

New data shows that South Australian households and businesses have been smashed with council rate increases over double the rate of the Local Government Price Index (LGPI).

Over the last 10 years local government rate revenue has increased by 67 per cent compared with a 31 per cent increase in the LGPI over the same period.

“These figures confirm that council rate increases are spiralling out of control and it’s South Australian households and businesses who are paying the price,” Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said.

“This reinforces the Liberal Government’s commitment to cap council rates to protect South Australian households and businesses from massive rate hikes.

“The Labor Opposition and Crossbenchers must explain why they continue to oppose capping council rates when it’s clear that ratepayers are being charged more than their fair share.

“There’s a lot of waste in the local government sector and many councils are jacking up their rates to cover their costs when they should be looking for efficiencies within their own budget.

“It’s been widely reported that councils have been caught out wasting ratepayer money on golf memberships, luxury cars, apple watches and unnecessary international travel.

“To cover these exorbitant costs some councils are forcing ratepayers to foot the bill by increasing their rates well above the LGPI which has unjustifiably increased the cost of living and doing business for households and businesses.

“The Onkaparinga Council is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the misuse of ratepayers’ money and their rate revenue has increased by a significant 74 per cent over the last 10 years.

“Treasury analysis shows that over the same 10 year period state government revenue only increased by 24 per cent.

“The new Liberal Government is committed to cutting taxes to ease the cost of living and lower the cost of doing business in South Australia.

“The State Liberal Government will abolish payroll tax for small businesses, deliver land tax reforms and cut the ESL by $90 million a year.

“The Liberal Government wants to put more money back into the pockets of South Australian families and businesses and the local government sector should be looking to do the same.

“The council rate revenue base is around $1.5 billion annually so the local government sector still has plenty of revenue to deliver key services even with a rate cap imposed.”