Lismore CBD businesses will see a rate reduction of 20 per cent.
Lismore CBD businesses will see a rate reduction of 20 per cent.

What Lismore's new rate changes will cost you

UPDATE 4pm: RATEPAYERS will be paying a few dollars extra each year to offset rate cuts aimed at helping inner Lismore CBD businesses.

Lismore City Council voted on Tuesday to cut only inner CBD business rates by 20 per cent and put a freeze on future rates for those that fall under that category.

The 20 per cent rate reduction would see approximately 270 inner CBD businesses save $1773 dollars on rates each year.

But that means those savings will have to be offset elsewhere to ensure the council still meets budget requirements.
While the council voted to not pass the offset onto farmland ratepayers, other categories will see larger rate increases then they're currently paying.

Urban business rates will need to pay an additional $79 per year, while Nimbin businesses will see a hike of $41 annually.

Residential and rural residential ratepayers will be forking out an additional $21 to $26 per year.

The changes are set to become effective from July 1, 2020.

ORIGINAL STORY: LISMORE CBD businesses can now expect to save more than $1700 a year, following Lismore City Council's decision to cut rates by 20 per cent.

The council on Tuesday supported Councillor Gianpiero Battista's suggestion of cutting only inner CBD business rates by 20 per cent and putting a freeze on future rates for those that fall under that category.

>>> Lismore rate hike finally scrapped

The 20 per cent rate reduction would see inner CBD businesses save approximately $1728 dollars on rates each year.

The decision follows the council's withdrawal of a special rate variation that would have seen 24 per cent rate increase over four years provide extra money to flow into the roads and infrastructure budget.

However, the 20 per cent rate cute for the inner CBD businesses will have to be made up somewhere else in the budget.

The council voted to offset the costs against all rating categories, excluding farmland.

What this means is while farmland ratepayers would see no change, residential ratepayers will most likely see larger rate increases then they're currently paying.

Initially the council was considering a 50 per cent rate cut but after Cr Battista's amendment was supported that was reduced to 20 per cent and a freeze was added.

Urban business rates will now need to pay an additional $79 per year, while the costings for Nimbin businesses and residential ratepayers is still be calculated by the council staff.

"50 per cent is way too much, I'm looking at a gradual change," Cr Battista said.

But Cr Elly Bird, who suggested a 35 per cent rate reduction would be more appropriate, said the council needed to make "hard decisions" now the SRV had been withdrawn.

"The impacts on all the other rating categories are not that significant," Cr Bird said.

"It's something we can do that will have real tangible effects.

"After all of the conversations of economic development and revitalising the CBD, now we're going to pass this weak support package."

The staff report highlights the fact the council's business rates, particularly those within the CBD, are "appreciably higher" than neighbouring LGA's and in needed to "address this imbalance".

The changes will be reflected in the 2020/21 Draft Operational Plan, which will go on public exhibition in May 2020, and will potentially become effective from July 1 2020.