Each year households across the State receive their Local Government rates notices, however independent research, commissioned by the WA Local Government Association, has found only about one in five WA ratepayers can identify how rates are calculated.
Of the remainder, 32% believed rates were calculated similar to stamp duty, with another 14% linking rates directly to the housing market.  A total of 22% correctly identified that rates form a portion of each Local Government’s annual budget.
The survey of 1000 West Australians from across the State found 73% percent of respondents wanted to better understand the process. It also found that 69% of people wanted a greater say on their rates; while about 40% would be prepared to either pay higher rates for more services, or accept a cut to services for lower rates.
WALGA President, Mayor Tracey Roberts said “Rates form a significant part of Councils’ operating budgets that is needed to provide the facilities and services that are required by the respective communities.”
“The greater the input from the community and involvement with the Council, the more likely it is that the services and facilities provided, and the rates required, will meet their expectations.”
Starting next week, in a competition to run in  The West Australian newspaper, being able to nominate the correct method could win your residential rates paid for the year.
Supported by WALGA, the competition will give readers a chance to win one of 10 prizes of having residential rates paid up to $3,500 by choosing the correct calculation method from three options.

The competition is hoped to improve understanding of how rates are calculated in response to the research findings that the majority of ratepayers wanted to better understand this process.

The competition opens Monday,  21 June – go to  councilrates.thewest.com.au to enter. Terms and conditions apply.