Bayside Council extends time for consultation on rates

Bayside Council has been working with the Minister for Local Government on a draft bill to hopefully change the current legislation to allow rate increases to be staggered over a number of years.
Bayside Council has been working with the Minister for Local Government on a draft bill to hopefully change the current legislation to allow rate increases to be staggered over a number of years.

Bayside ratepayers have until the end of December to have their say on the council's planned rate harmonisation.

This follows advice from NSW Local Government Minister, Shelley Hancock that she will have draft legislation proposing a staggered implementation or rates harmonisation which should be ready for councils to review before Christmas.

Bayside Council is required by the State Government to equalize or "harmonise"the rating structure between the former Rockdale and Botany council areas by mid 2021.

But NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has indicated the government would consider a gradual phasing in of rate harmonisation over several years.

The rates harmonisation will mean rates will decrease for ratepayers in the former Rockdale Council area but increase for ratepayers in the former Botany Council Area.

The current minimum rates are $768 for Rockdale and $553 for Botany.

Bayside Council has been working with the Minister for Local Government on a draft bill to hopefully change the current legislation to allow rate increases to be staggered over a number of years.

The council is currently consulting with all ratepayers on the proposed rate changes.

"It is important ratepayers have input into the process and we would like to hear from all 66,663 ratepayers. We are here and we are listening. All comments will be taken on board," a Bayside Council spokesperson said.

Bayside Council considered two scenarios for rates harmonisation.

Under Scenario One, the council would harmonise the ordinary rates (which raises $80 million) plus extend the former Rockdale Council Special Rate Variation (SRV) which raises $13 million, across all Bayside ratepayers.

Under Scenario Two, the council would harmonise the ordinary rates $80 million) across all Bayside ratepayers but retain the SRV for only the former Rockdale ratepayers.

The council voted for Scenario Two.

The current average residential rate for ratepayers in the former Botany Council LGA is $709 Under Scenario Two this will be $904.

Under Scenario One, which would include the SRV, this would be $1064.

Every ratepayer has been mailed a letter detailing the changes and how it will impact them.

Ratepayers can have their say by visiting the Council's website and clicking on the Changes to Your Rates box on the home page.

Ratepayers are urged to complete the online survey and provide their comments by the end of December.

A final report will be prepared for Council for consideration in February, 2021.

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