Mayor Jenny Dowell: Extra revenue needed to improve services.
Mayor Jenny Dowell: Extra revenue needed to improve services.

Rate rise for Lismore?

Lismore ratepayers are likely to get a rate rise above the state government’s cap next year.

Lismore Council has called for a report to explore the options and if approved at the December meeting, will commence community consultation in early in 2010.

Mayor Jenny Dowell said every survey conducted by Council indicated that people wanted more money spent on roads, but there was no clear guidance about where the extra funding should come from.

“Cutting other services is not favoured and there is also strong support for targetted environmental programs, improved arts and cultural facilities, as well as business and employment promotion.”

She said that one way to raise extra funds was through a special rate variation.

“NSW is the only state with rate pegging, where the state government determines the limit by which local government can increase its rates revenue. NSW is clearly falling behind other states in the provision of services and the maintenance of assets,” Mayor Dowell said.

A special rate increase requires the Minister for Local Government to agree. The application to the Minister must include a strong business case and evidence of community consultation.

“Nobody likes the prospect of rates increases. However, without extra revenue it will not be possible to improve our service levels,” Mayor Dowell said.


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