Thought 37% over 5 years was bad? Ratepayers stung statewide

CLARENCE Valley ratepayers smarting at the thought of their rates increasing 37% over five years should spare a thought for their counterparts in other local government areas around the state.

Yesterday the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released the list of the 12 councils to apply for a rates rise above the rate peg in 2016-17.

The local council was one of the 12, but nowhere near the top of the list.

In Greater Taree, the rates could rise by 49.2% over six years to renew infrastructure, maintain services, and improve financial sustainability.

Further south the Wingecarribee Shire wants to hike rate 45.3% cumulatively over four years to fund operating costs and infrastructure renewal, and retain permanently the Environmental Levy expiring in 2018-19.

Singleton Council wants a 45.1% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to improve asset maintenance and renewal, and retain permanently a special variation expiring in 2016-17.

Yass Valley is looking for 38.6% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to improve financial sustainability.

And over the range in the Gwydir Shire, the council wants to jump the rates 30% in a single year to be retained permanently in the rates base to improve financial sustainability. This includes replacing an expiring one-year special variation.

There are a few councils on the list which will have ratepayers here a touch envious.

Up the road, the Tweed Valley Tweed Shire wants just a 2.8% single year increase to be retained permanently in the rates base for a levy on residents of a new urban release area to protect bushland near the development.

Wagga Wagga City has its hand out for just a 5.6% temporary increase to be retained in the rates base for five years, to fund upgrading of levee banks.

IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall said all applications would be determined by mid May.

Needy dozen:   The councils that applied before the deadline this week are:

  • Clarence Valley - 37.0% cumulative increase over five years to be retained permanently in the rates base, for maintenance of roads and renewal of related infrastructure.
  • Great Lakes - 20.7% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base to renew infrastructure, maintain services, and improve financial sustainability.
  • Greater Taree City - 49.2% cumulative increase over six years to be retained permanently in the rates base, for maintenance and renewal of the road network.
  • Gwydir Shire - 30.0% single year increase to be retained permanently in the rates base to improve financial sustainability, includes replacing an expiring one-year special variation.
  • Lachlan Shire - 32.3% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to improve services and assets, reduce the infrastructure backlog and improve financial sustainability.
  • Lismore City - 3.6% single year increase to be retained permanently in the rates base, to implement the Biodiversity Management Strategy.
  • Penrith City - 27.0% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to maintain and improve services and infrastructure, and retain permanently a special variation expiring in 2015-16.
  • Singleton - 45.1% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to improve asset maintenance and renewal, and retain permanently a special variation expiring in 2016-17.
  • Tweed Shire - 2.8% single year increase to be retained permanently in the rates base for a levy on residents of a new urban release area to protect bushland near the development.
  • Wagga Wagga City - 5.6% temporary increase to be retained in the rates base for five years, to fund upgrading of levee banks.
  • Wingecarribee Shire - 45.3% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to fund operating costs and infrastructure renewal, and retain permanently the Environmental Levy expiring in 2018-19.
  • Yass Valley - 38.6% cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rates base, to improve financial sustainability.

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