Office rates to rise 10% on average

CBD office rates have been raised an average of 10 per cent by council.

Every three years the Office of the Valuer General re-evaluates all rateable properties to determine gross rental values.

This year the office increased gross rental values by more than 42 per cent.

Increases in valuations for different land uses vary between 13 per cent and 84 per cent, the latter affecting the office sector.

Council voted to amend its differential rate in the dollar to minimise and equalise, where possible, the impact of the new valuations. Differential rating charges are 6.832 cents in the dollar for commercial, 6.666¢ for hotels, 7.032¢ for industrial, 4.574¢ for office, 6.816¢ for retail, 8.8¢ for vacant land and 5.412¢ in the dollar for residential.

However, council is also offering rates relief of up to $2,000 per year for three years to qualifying residential properties in an attempt to boost inner city living.

The Inner City Residential Rate Relief Scheme applies to properties within the area bounded by Victoria Avenue, the Mitchell Freeway the Swan River and the railway.

In mixed use developments, only people buying residential properties will qualify.

Qualifying first buyers must apply to receive the rate reduction.

Council has also allocated $28.6 million to fund the major upgrades of His Majesty’s car park, the Concert Hall car park and the Royal Street car park as well as the redevelopment of the Lake Street car park.

Most car park fees will go up ten cents and fines for serious parking infringements have been increased.

Council will be running six-month trials in the Pier Street and Cultural Centre car parks, offering the first hour’s parking for free.

Other fund allocations include $1.1 million with another $500,000 in reserve for restoration works on the Perth Town Hall, $7.6 million in asset replacement reserve, more than $222,000 to build a band hall in Queens Gardens for the City of Perth Band and $130,000 to enhance the city’s closed circuit television surveillance system.

A further $47.1 million has been set aside for capital expenditure.

This is the first financial year since the 1994 restructure of the City of Perth that council has been free of its financial commitments to the Towns of Cambridge, Victoria Park and Vincent.

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