BALLARAT City Council will put its draft 2012-13 budget out for public submissions on Monday.
The council last night voted to put its proposed budget, including its radical new gaming venue rate, out to the community.
Mayor Mark Harris said the council had “stuck to its guns” over financial responsibility.
“We have a budget that is the envy of any local government in the state, including some of our close neighbours,” Cr Harris said.
Cr Harris said the rating changes, including the gaming venue rate and new rural residential and recreation one rates, was a “significant step towards a greater place of equity”.
Under the draft budget, residential rates will be capped at 4 per cent, with rates revenue totalling 48 per cent of total revenue.
It gives the council an operating surplus of $8.1 million and a capital works budget of $36.851 million.
If adopted, Ballarat’s 15 gaming venues will be charged 16 per cent more than the commercial rate to allow for problem gambling harm minimisation programs.
Several sporting and recreational clubs will get a full rate rebate and a special rural residential rate will be introduced for non-farmers living on sizeable blocks.
The rate rebate for pensioners who live alone will rise from $65 to $70.
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The household waste management charge will also increase by $19 to $215.
Councillor Ben Taylor said it was a “bit of a tough budget for us”.
“I would encourage people to take a moment to read it and put their submissions in,” Cr Taylor said.
Councillor Judy Verlin said state and federal governments had a clear view on giving funding to local government.
“They say to us that you have an obligation to look after your own backyard before you can come to us for money,” Cr Verlin said.
Councillor Cheryl Bromfield said it was a budget “truly representative of the community” while Councillor Samantha McIntosh said the council was aware of the impacts its budget decisions had on the community.
Written submissions on the draft budget will be taken until June 12 and public submissions will be heard at a meeting on June 20.
The council’s budget meeting will be held on June 27.