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LGA calls for end to cost shifting

The LGA has called on the Government to honour its pre-election commitment to stop cost shifting to councils when it hands down its 2018-19 State Budget.

LGA President Councillor Sue Clearihan said that when the State shifts costs to councils, it’s ultimately rate payers that pick up the tab.

“Many South Australians wouldn’t realise the extent to which state government costs are being passed on through their council rates,” Councillor Clearihan said.

“Significant increases to the Solid Waste Levy and NRM Levy, mandatory rates rebates for community housing transfers, and “rubble royalties” are adding millions of dollars onto council budgets – and rates increases - every year."

“Annual increases in council rates have been trending down for a number of years, but it’s getting harder for councils to deliver efficiencies while taking on additional responsibilities, and paying more every year in taxes and levies.”

The LGA’s 2018-19 State Budget Submission asks the Government to:

·        Freeze the Solid Waste Levy and provide additional support to councils to respond to the impact of China’s National Sword Policy.

·        Amend the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 to remove the requirement for councils to collect the levy.

·        Abolish rubble royalty payments charged to councils for road works.

·        Remove the requirement or cover the cost of councils providing a 75 percent rebate in council rates to community housing providers.

The LGA’s submission also calls on the Government to commit to reducing South Australian cost of living pressures through policy and legislation that will address the rising costs of electricity and gas, automotive fuel, child care, medical, dental and hospital services and preschool and primary school.

Other funding priorities outlined in the LGA’s submission include local government reform, economic development, roads, regional health services, and community wellbeing.

A full copy of the LGA’s 2018-19 State Budget Submission can be downloaded here.

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