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Indian-origin Acting Mayor helps bring down council rates

Gautam Gupta Source: Gautam Gupta

Cr Gupta says that it is important that councillors understand the function their council is performing and bring efficiency to the whole process.

Indian-origin Cr Gautam Gupta has helped bring down the council rates from 5.5% to 2.5%.

What are council rates? And why are they so important?

Local government authorities or Councils can levy annual taxes, which are called council rates in Australia.

The basis on which these charges can be calculated varies from state to state and are subject to periodic revisions.

According to the City of Melbourne’s website council rates help “to better connect the city’s people and places, create a sustainable and prosperous city, and support strong communities and businesses.”

But an unfair increase in council rates can leave home owners with the brunt of rate rises.

Cr Gupta says that one of his election promises was to reduce rates to CPI and bring efficiency in council’s every day work.

In 2012, Cr Gupta had rallied with residents outside the council office.

“Then there were instances of rate rises that were as high as 300% to 400%,” says Cr Gupta.

“Just do some maths on the council rates! Residents can save over $850 a year approximately. Let's say the rates are $2000 per year now. If the rate was kept at consistent to 5.5% the rate will increase to $3416.29 in ten years. At 2.5% it will increase to only $2560.17 a saving of over $856 per year and added over ten years we are talking over a few thousand,” adds Cr Gupta.

He says - “Now, this is clearly a thing of the past. I have worked hard to fix the system and any failure will now be an exception and not the norm."

Cr Gupta says that it is important that councillors understand the function their council is performing and bring efficiency to the whole process.

He adds that Council’s need to focus on diversification, brining multiculturalism into its core business, and especially creating alternate sporting facilities, apart from footy and cricket grounds, for new migrants and girls.

To know more about the role of your local council and the issue of rate increase, listen to Amit Sarwal’s conversation with Cr Gautam Gupta, Acting Mayor of Wyndham City Council.