At Tuesday’s meeting, councillors will consider whether to adopt proposed budgets and plans for the 2020-21 financial year, including a 2.6 per cent rate rise – the NSW Government’s recommended increase for councils this year.
It is being suggested that the rise would equate to around $77 a year for the average residential ratepayer, or $1.49 per week. As Councillor Lindsay Brown offers "Less than the price of a cup of coffee per week". Cr Innes said in a media release this week that "no one liked to hear of a 'rate rise' but it was in everyone's interests to invest in Eurobodalla's future."
“Like everything else, rates go up every year to cover the costs of keeping our shire in good shape,” she said.
“The Australian and NSW Governments have acknowledged that one of the best ways to boost our economy is continued investment in local infrastructure and services. We need to do our bit too.
“We know the past six months have been extraordinarily tough on our entire community. We want to help our community thrive again.”
Cr Innes said that around 30 per cent of Council’s proposed $123 million budget this year would be spent supporting local businesses via contracts and materials adding “When Council spends money, the whole community benefits.” The report to Councillors recommends that they adopt the rate peg set by the NSW Government of 2.6% to its rates and charges saying "By Council taking the rate peg amount, it will enable Council to maintain service levels and capital programs now and into the future." In a backhanded way this statement also says "If we don't get the rate rise we will have to reduce service levels and capital programs now and into the future." The report to councillors reiterates this subtle threat by saying "Council is aware of the need to ensure financial sustainability into the future. Should Council not endorse the 2.6% rate peg increase to its rates, fees and charges this will impact the financial sustainability and increase the future burden on ratepayers and/or lower Council’s ability to deliver services and infrastructure. A relatively small sum per rate payer provides a cumulative impact and increases Council’s ability to maintain services, service levels and capital programs now and into the future."
Council’s Draft Delivery Program 2017-21 and Operational Plan 2020-21, incorporating the budget, fees and charges, revenue policy, will be considered at the ordinary meeting of Council on Tuesday 23 June. The meeting will take place on the video platform ‘Zoom’ and will also be webcast. For more information visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/meetings