Ratepayers may share review cost

RATEPAYERS across most of the Valley could be asked to share the cost of an extra $150,000 in rates to offset a possible reduction in Grafton’s business rate by Clarence Valley Council.

At its meeting today, a rating option recommended by council officers suggests reducing the ‘yield’ from Grafton businesses by $150,000 and reallocating proportionally to all other rating categories except Grafton residential.

The preferred option also involves combining the farmland sugar cane sub-category with the farmland category to form one farmland category, which would have a base charge of $330 and yield $2.452 million.

Under the proposal, residential (non-town) areas would continue to pay a minimum rate of $419, raising $4.617 million.

A residential sub-category of Maclean/Townsend and Lawrence would pay a minimum rate of $419, yielding $1.265 million.

The base amount for residential sub-category C (Iluka) and D (Yamba and Wooloweyah) would increase to $230. There would be no change to the Grafton residential sub-category.

Council officers said rating option six, outlined above, was recommended because it maintained the existing 2009/10 differential rates structure, including a mixture of ad valorem rating combined with base amounts and minimum amounts for the three rating categories of farmland, business and residential and also reduced the rate yield in Grafton business properties by $150,000.

“This reduction is redistributed proportionally to all other rating categories (based on 2009/10 rate levy) excluding Grafton/Junction Hill residential properties,” the report said.

“Council’s current rates structure is based on land valuations with a base date July 1, 2007.

“Council is required to use these valuations when levying rates for 2010/11.

“The NSW Valuer-General’s Department will be completing a revaluation of all properties within the council area with a base date of July 1, 2010. It is anticipated that the new land valuations will be made available to council in early December 2010.”

Councillors will consider seven different rating options when they meet.

Valuations will be made available to council in early December 2010

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