Bellingen Shire may face a rate hike
BELLINGEN Shire Council is among 13 NSW councils that have notified the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to apply for either a special variations to increase their general income above the rate peg or for a minimum rate increase in 2017-18.
Councils were asked to notify IPART by December 16 and have until February 13 to consult with their communities and submit their applications for a special variation and until March 13 to apply for a minimum rate increase.
The rate peg for 2017-18 is 1.5%, which reflects the continuing low inflationary environment and moderate rate of public sector wages growth in recent years.
It was determined by measuring changes in the Local Government Cost Index, which includes changes in average costs faced by councils, and consideration of a factor to reflect improvements in productivity.
IPART will begin assessing the applications against criteria set out in the Office of Local Government's guidelines from February.
These criteria include demonstrating the need for the additional income, evidence of adequate community awareness and an assessment of the reasonableness of the increase and impact on ratepayers.