The state's pricing regulator has set a 4.5 per cent rate peg for Goulburn Mulwaree Council in 2024/25.
The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) announced the rate pegs for all NSW councils on Tuesday, November 21. It applies to each council's total general rate revenue they can collect and not individual rates.
The 4.5pc rise compares with a 3.7pc rate peg for Goulburn Mulwaree in 2023/24 and 3.2pc the year prior.
Mayor Peter Walker said the 4.5pc equated to an extra $220,000.
"It won't reflect on any changes to the special rate variation and we'll have to look at how best to allocate that to the community," he said.
But he pointed out that the council's emergency services levy was $404,000 this financial year.
IPART Chair Carmel Donnelly said the Tribunal had reviewed and updated the methodology used to set the rate peg for the coming financial year.
"We have implemented the new methodology this year because it will produce rate pegs that more accurately reflect the increase in costs for each council," she said.
"We understand ratepayers across the State are facing cost-of-living pressures including the affordability of council rates.
"The new methodology we have applied will better account for the diversity among NSW councils and help ensure ratepayers contribute only to costs relevant to their local government area."
She said the rate pegs were based on employee cost increases, forecast inflation and council-specific changes in Emergency Services Levy contributions and population growth."
The Tribunal's report states that council's base costs, including for employees, assets and operations, will increase by 3.9pc on average.
IPART's rate pegs for all councils in 2024/25 range from 4.5pc to 5.5pc.
"This range is below the Australian Bureau of Statistics'...inflation rate of 6.6pc to June, 2023," the report stated.
A revised option is being recommended to councillors, which flags setting the minimum rate at:
It compares with two previous options on which the community was consulted for seven weeks. These proposed a 43.1pc hike over one year or 51.2pc split over two years.
The hike would collect between $9 million and $10m in extra revenue.
Following community backlash about affordability contained in 1855 submission, councillors asked CEO Aaron Johansson to formulate options to reduce financial pressures on households but also maintain the council's sustainability.
"Provided the overall increase doesn't exceed 51.2pc, we don't need a further council resolution to go back to community consultation," he said.
Meantime, Cr Walker, deputy mayor Steve Ruddell and Cr Andy Wood attended last week's Local Government NSW conference in Sydney.
Cr Walker said the emergency services levy, special rate variations, cost shifting and "the removal of grant opportunities" were subjects of heated and "unanimous" discussions.
Local government minister, Ron Hoenig told the conference he'd address these issues.
The Mayor said he and Mr Johansson had also met with ministers and show ministers about council funding challenges.
Tuesday's meeting starts at 6pm, is open to the public and will be live-streamed on the council's website. A seating limit of 95 applies to the council chambers due to fire safety considerations.
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