Ratepayers may have to pay for levy cuts

COFFS Coast councils may need to increase rates by as much as 20 per cent to cover revenue losses from cuts to developer levies announced by the State Government last week.

Premier Nathan Rees said cuts to council, water and State infrastructure charges on new developments will be reduced by up to $64,000 per lot as part of reforms designed to improve housing affordability.

The changes also include capping infrastructure contributions payable to local councils at $20,000 per lot, with all contributions exceeding $20,000 requiring approval from the Planning Minister.

“We have listened to industry and local government and it is clear in some areas levies have been too high and have been slowing the construction of new homes,” Mr Rees said.

But Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades has flagged the possibility of rates rising due to the reforms.

“Coffs will pay the penalty for a proposal based on what's happening in Sydney,” Cr Rhoades said.

“This could have an impact on rates to continue to provide community facilities and it may result in less community facilities put into place.”

Local Government Association president, Genia McCaffery, said developers are charged levies to ensure that new infrastructure can be provided to meet the needs of the increased population the development will generate.

Cr McCaffery said councils may need to increase rates by 20 per cent to cover the shortfall.



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