8.15% rates raid

CLARENCE Valley residents may be hit with a rate increase of 8.15 per cent next year.

The Minister for Local Government recently announced that all councils could raise their general rate revenue by 2.6 per cent above the current level, but in a bid to raise an additional $1.3 million to finance capital works, Clarence Valley Council is seeking approval to raise rates by an extra 5.55 per cent.

Council deputy general manager for civil and corporate Rob Donges said the average rate for properties across the Valley varied between minimum and fixed rates and were determined by dollar value.

“It is hard to compare rates between shires because we have 15 different rate structures Valley-wide,” he said.

Council general manager Stuart McPherson reported that an extra 5.5 per cent above the 2.6 per cent increase would provide an additional $1.3 million next year and in subsequent years and would be used for clearly identified additional capital works and programs.

The proposed increase means Grafton property owners would be slugged with an extra $142 in rates each year, pending State Government approval.

Mr McPherson said main street programs, public and community halls and libraries, footpaths and cycleway, rural road improvements and community recreational facilities were among some of the projects envisioned for the use of the extra funds.

An extraordinary meeting will be held at the Maclean council chambers next Tuesday to discuss the proposal and begin the community consultation process.

Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting that will start at 5pm.

Current average residential rates

Grafton - $1743.87

Maclean - $1547.14

Yamba - $1820

Coffs Harbour - $2519.43

Lismore - $988 (plus garbage, sewer and water charges).

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