Friday, 21 November 2014 12:18

Councils in Morphett Electorate hit by ESL increases

Ratepayers will no doubt be the ones to pay for the savage increases in the Emergency Service Levy (ESL) which has been sent to Councils by Revenue SA, Member for Morphett Dr Duncan McFetridge said.


“The decision of the State Government to increase ESL costs is having far reaching impacts on South Australian households, businesses, community and volunteer groups,” he said.

“Not only are South Australians being hit directly through significant ESL increases on their homes and motor vehicles but through ESL costs indirectly passed on through school fees, sporting club subscriptions and council rates.”

The City of Holdfast Bay levy this year has been billed at $90,813.45, an increase of $48,518.70 from last year’s levy of $42,294.75, Dr McFetridge said.

Other councils in the Morphett Electorate also experienced a huge increase, including the City of Marion receiving a levy bill at $59,000, an increase of $43,000 from last year’s levy of $16,000 (269 per cent increase); the City of West Torrens receiving a levy bill at $65,982.80, an increase of $31,637.15 from last year’s levy of $34,345.65 (92 per cent increase), and the City of Charles Sturt receiving a levy bill at $130,978.35, an increase of $87,065.15 from last year’s levy of $43,913.20 (198 per cent increase).

“Councils around the State have reported ESL increases up to 269% and relay that such hikes are a major concern for future rate and budget setting and will leave them with little choice but to fund the increase through rate increases or the removal of services,” he said.

“The most vulnerable members of our community will be further affected following the State Government’s announcement that it will cease council rate concessions for eligible pensioners and concession card holders from the end of June 2015.”

“It has been reported in the media that many households have not paid their ESL and the State Government plans to prosecute about 15,000 non-payers - honest, law abiding citizens who simply cannot affording the huge increases.

“South Australians deserve better and Local Government Minister Geoff Brock needs to speak out about this government’s unjust levy which is simply ‘highway robbery’ that is now impacting on local government services.”

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