More tax revenue for local government

IN essence, it was a vote for local government autonomy.

Last week Nambucca Shire councillors voted to recommend the removal of the State Government's control of local government revenue via the rate-pegging system.

The vexed issue was debated following the release of a report into the regulation of local council rates and charges by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

The report, which was done at the request of the Premier, Morris Iemma, gave five options, one of which was the removal of rate-pegging.

IPART also noted the Premier did not favour this option.

In deciding what response to send to IPART, Cr John Ainsworth suggested a two-tier rating system.

“We could retain rate-pegging for general rates and have another rate for maintenance issues,” Cr Ainsworth said. “The maintenance rate could be free of rate pegging.”

Cr Hoban moved a second motion requesting IPART to consider a Local Government Shires Association proposal for 'an increased and guaranteed percentage of total taxation revenue to be returned to Local Government'.

It was passed unanimously.

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