EXPLAINING how a 9% special rate variation increase will equate to an average rate rise of just 4.3% is the task that falls to Clarence Valley Council's head money man this afternoon.
The council's director corporate Ashley Lindsay is booked to address a meeting of the Clarence Business Enterprise Advisory Service at the Crown Hotel, Grafton, from 5.30pm to explain how it can happen.
His appearance signals the start of the Clarence Valley Council's latest round of public consultation to secure an SRV from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.
Mr Lindsay admitted understanding how it it worked required some complex thinking.
"In the end what we are taking to the community is a proposal that could result in an increase in the ordinary rate of about 4.3% above 2016/17 levels," Mr Lindsay said.
"The current 6.5% SRV expires on June 30, 2017. The proposal council is considering to apply for a 9% SRV starting July 1, 2017, which, if approved, would allow council to retain the one-off 6.5% plus levy an estimated rate peg increase of 2.5% for 2017/18.
"This 9% SRV would be retained permanently in council's rate income."
Mr Lindsay said if the council did not make application for an SRV, its general rate income for 2017/18 would fall by about $588,000, which would equate to an average 2.3% reduction in the general rate for ratepayers.
Information about the proposal should be delivered to all residents this week. A random phone survey of 500 residents is also to be undertaken.
Mr Lindsay said the council needed to show the State Government it was making progress on its Fit For The Future benchmarks.
While the government was taking a longer-term approach to meeting the benchmarks, it still wanted to see evidence of improvement.
Community information meetings will be held at 5.30pm in Grafton on Tuesday, November 22, and Maclean on Wednesday, November 23.
People can make submissions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org writing to Clarence Valley Council, Locked Bag 23, Grafton, 2460 or a survey is available at www.clarence.nsw.gov.au Submissions close at 4pm on Friday, November 25.