The City of Karratha is expecting to generate an extra half-a-million dollars a year in revenue after receiving ministerial approval to change the way it rates major resource facilities.
A City proposal to rate resource processing properties on a gross rental value (GRV), rather than UV (unimproved value) basis, from 2019-20 was approved by Local Government Minister David Templeman in June.
Based on indicative land values, the change will see the City collect an additional $500,000 a year in rates.
City director of corporate services Phillip Trestrail said the new strategy had been made possible by policy changes from the State Government, which is responsible for determining land valuation methods.
“Historically, resource properties have been rated based on their unimproved valuation as these properties are generally outside the town boundaries, which meant they were paying significantly less in rates compared to all other businesses operating within the town boundaries,” he said.
“It is reasonable to expect that similar properties are rated on the same basis.”
“Changes in the State Government policy means resource facilities can now be rated at the same rate as other local business, ensuring these properties are rated equitably.”
The City first raised the prospect of changing the rating method for resources facilities in April 2018, when councillors voted to seek Ministerial approval for implementing the policy.
At the time, few resource companies in the district voluntarily supported the move.
Mr Trestrail said the City of Karratha and State Government had undertaken significant consultation with industry during the policy’s formulation, with the majority of companies affected being “understanding of the City’s desire to implement the changes.”
Properties subject to the rating method include Rio’s 2 Mile and 7 Mile Rail Maintenance facilities and Cape Lambert, Woodside’s North West Shelf Project and Pluto LNG Plant and Santos’ Devil Creek Gas Plant.