A move by Horsham councillor John Robinson to rescind the motion which approved the city's 2020/21 budget was defeated at Monday night's council meeting.
Cr Robinson had flagged his intention to seek a vote to overturn the Horsham Rural City Council budget decision at the time of the original vote, saying that a zero per cent rate rise should have been on the table rather than 2 per cent.
However the vote was 4-2 against the rescission motion, with Crs Robinson and Grimble backing it, Crs Gulvin, Power, Clarke and Radford against and Cr Koenig absent.
At the July 27 meeting - when the budget was approved - Crs Robinson and Grimble voted against it being adopted.
The notice of motion was the only item on Monday night's council meeting agenda.
Cr Robinson said the council had to focus on providing economic stimulus for the community in this budget period.
"Now is not the time to be taxing our community a further 2 per cent. Leaving that 2 per cent in the economy allows it to circulate and provide wider benefits," he said.
"We are also no longer talking about recovery at this time, we are talking about the immediate health issues.
"To do this, we need to ensure the budget focuses on the immediate health needs of the community."
Cr Robinson urged councillors to rescind the budget and to focus on paving the way for the next council.
"This is a defining moment in the history of this council. We will be forevermore judged by our decision and actions here," he said.
Councillor Pam Clarke said the rescission motion was disrespectful and disregarded months of work that has gone into the budget.
"I think it is disrespectful to officers, council staff, councillors and the community who have put in the submission. With any budget, we do not always get what we want," she said.
"Everyone has had an opportunity to contribute to this budget. I think a rescission motion is not helpful ... 2 per cent is not a lot for the community.
"This is not the time to discuss changes and movement ... not once the documents are complete. That is the worst type of governance I have experienced.
"We need to pass this budget so the council can continue its legal and financial responsibilities in a timely way."
Councillor David Grimble said the council was overtaxing the community and urged councillors to support Cr Robinson.
"The draft budget has support for business and community groups which is essential ... but the support doesn't go far enough," he said.
"We are overtaxing our community to maintain our services. That effectively stops that money recycling in our local economy, which is entirely unsustainable."
The city's 2020/21 budget includes:
- A $1.25 million deficit for the year ($58.7 million in revenue, $59.9 million in expenditure)
- A 3.14 per cent increase in rates for residential land
- A 4.58 per cent increase for farm land
- An overall rate increase of 2 per cent
- A $484,000 business and community assistance program in response to COVID-19
- $100,000 for planning work for an alternative truck route
- $491,000 for decontamination work at the council's Selkirk Road Depot
- A 4.65 per cent increase in garbage costs for residents with 120L bins
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