How 63 cents almost derailed Livingstone Shire's budget
A SMALL sum of 63 cents a week almost derailed the 2018-19 Livingstone Shire budget adopted at a special meeting of the council today.
A landlord tax, levied on non owner-occupied dwellings, was controversial to the point that councillors Adam Belot, Pat Eastwood and Glenda Mather voted against the budget, even though Crs Belot and Eastwood said it was a "very good budget” otherwise.
Deputy mayor, Nigel Hutton praised the budget as fiscally responsible but despite strong support for the budget principals, it took Mayor Bill Ludwig's casting vote to get it over the line.
Cr Tom Wyatt was absent for family reasons leaving the mayor Bill Ludwig, deputy mayor Nigel Hutton and Cr Jan Kelly the only councillors to vote in support.
The sticking point was the introduction of a landlord tax and though only likely to sting to the tune of about 63 cents a week, a principle was at stake.
A general rate rise for residential owner-occupied dwellings was set at 2.9 per cent, which was less than forecast.
The budget featured no new borrowings until 2024/25 and a deficit of $750,000, also lower than previously forecast.
See the full details in tomorrow's Morning Bulletin and online.