FROM today, ratepayers will be able to examine Clarence Valley Council's draft 2009/10 budget and management plan which sets out proposed income and expenditure for the next financial year.
Included in the plan is the proposed rate structure for 2009/10.
Councillors have tried to ease the burden on Grafton and Junction Hill ratepayers by proposing their residential rates remain virtually unchanged, while Grafton business rates will actually fall by up to 6.9 per cent.
This is a move by council to try to compensate Grafton and Junction Hill ratepayers. Their rates remain the highest in the Valley.
Council deputy general manager (civil and corporate) Rob Donges said 2009/10 would be the second year in a row that council reduced Grafton rate levies, saving Grafton residents and businesses about $900,000.
Mr Donges was unable to say if council would continue to provide a rate freeze for Grafton properties in the future but said there may be further opportunities for Grafton businesses.
So, who in the Valley will be paying more, and how much?
Least affected will be those in the rating category Farmland. Their rates will rise by up to 2.63 per cent, bringing average rates to $1036.71.
Residential 'A' (coastal villages) rates will rise by about four per cent, bringing average rates to $992.23.
Residential 'B' (Maclean/Townsend) rates will rise by up to 13.62 per cent, bringing average rates to $681.59.
Residential 'C' (Iluka) rates will rise by almost five per cent, bringing average rates to $738.65.
Residential 'D' (Yamba/Wooloweyah) rates will rise by about four per cent, bringing average rates there to $960.48.
Residential 'E' is Grafton and Junction Hill.
Most rates in residential 'F' (Lawrence) will rise by more than 11 per cent, bringing average rates there to $641.69.
Other areas such as Gulmarrad, Ulmarra, Coutts Crossing, Waterview Heights, Tucabia and Woombah will rise by up to 11.48 per cent, bringing average rates in those towns to $671.14. Yamba and Iluka business rates will rise by up to 15 per cent, while Maclean and Townsend businesses will be paying 16.28 per cent more.