Emergency Services Levy increase hits local councils

INCREASES in the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) are impacting on South Australian households, businesses, community and volunteer groups.

In August this year, the State Government said the decision to increase the levy was unavoidable due to federal budget cuts to health and education in the state.

MP Steven Griffiths said the increase in the levy is a major concern for the area.

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

“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 to fund the increase through rate increases or the deduction of services and infrastructure,” Mr Griffiths explained.

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

 A Local Government Association (LGA) survey recently found the District Council of Mallala ESL liability has increased from $2,365.55 in 2013/14 to $3,597.70 in 2014/15, an increase of $1,232.15 or 52%.

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