Clarence Valley Council considering 10% rate hike

Clarence Valley Council mayor Richie Williamson.
Clarence Valley Council mayor Richie Williamson. Adam Hourigan

CLARENCE Valley ratepayers could be asked to agree to a four-year, 10% a year rate increase from the 2016-17 rating period.

An extraordinary meeting of Clarence Valley Council in Maclean tomorrow will vote on a draft rate setting proposal for the next year, plus a proposal to grant council's general manager Scott Greensill power to consult the community for a "Special Rate Variation of 10% per year for four years commencing in 2016/17".

Council's ability to increase rates is limited by the State Government rate pegging limit set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

For 2015-16, IPART has imposed a 2.4% rate pegging limit, meaning council can increase its overall rate take by $643,075 to $27,437,882.

The preferred option in the business paper for councillors is option 1.

  •  Yamba, Maclean & Townsend Residential Categories Base Amount increases from $290 to $320.
  •  All Business Rating Categories (except Grafton and South Grafton) Base Amount increases from $280 to $310.
  •  Residential "Outside Town Areas" and Residential A - "Coastal Villages" minimum increases from $485 to $497.
  •  There are no changes proposed to any of the other rating categories.

However, council has flagged a move to a base rate of $390 for each rating category in the near future.

To obtain a special rate variation council has to jump through a number of hoops.

Firstly, it must notify IPART of its intentions by December, 2015

Prior to that council must consult with the community and gather feedback on the proposal.

During this period council must make it clear to the community how it will spend the extra funds.

The percentage increase is cumulative, meaning each year's 10% increase is included in the calculation for the next year.

Council's modelling for a 10% increase from 2016-17 shows an increased rate yield of $12,733,921 over the four years.

Council originally flagged its intention to seek a special rate variation at its October 2014 meeting.

It heard there were two types of rate hike: a one-off percentage hike, or a multi-year percentage increase.

Topics:  clarence valley council rates

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