A FOUR per cent rate rise has been forecast in the draft 2012-13 Ballarat City Council budget.
It also tips an $8.108 million operating surplus and a $36.851 million capital works budget.
A waste service charge of $215 will also be applied, rising $19 from last financial year due to increased Environment Protection Authority levies.
The draft budget will be discussed at next Wednesday night’s council meeting before being advertised for public submissions.
Ballarat mayor Mark Harris said the rise was in keeping with the council’s commitment to cap rates at four per cent.
“It’s giving surety to the community in our rating strategy,” Cr Harris said.
“It is a difficult thing for a council to be that disciplined.”
If approved, capital works will include $11 million for roads, with $4 million dedicated to rural road improvements.
A further $1.3 million will go into the Australian Centre for Democracy at Eureka, with $2.9 million for waste and landfill works.
The Ballarat CBD Strategy will get $634,000, with projects at Llanberris Reserve, Lake Wendouree, Victoria Park, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and various playgrounds receiving a total of nearly $1.3 million.
Cr Harris said the council had discussed keeping the rate rise at last financial year’s 3.5 per cent increase but it was decided it would create too much budgetary pressure.
Factors impacting this budget include waste management obligations, rising energy costs from July 1 due to the carbon tax, and extra superannuation contributions.
“We are not saying the carbon tax is good nor bad,” Cr Harris said. “It’s a fixed reality and we have to absorb it.”
Single-income pensioners stand to receive a $70 rate rebate, not-for-profit sporting groups who normally pay the recreation one rate could receive a full rebate and a new rural residential rate has been mooted for lifestyle properties, not farms, on more than four hectares.
A meeting on June 20 will hear submissions, with the adoption meeting on June 27.