Lismore City Council has asked for feedback on a Special Rate Variation.
Lismore City Council has asked for feedback on a Special Rate Variation. Lismore City Council

EXPLAINED: What the charges on your rates notice mean

LISMORE ratepayers have blasted the council over claims that the average rate charge is $1200.

But it's a misleading amount, as this figure is the average base rate.

And if the Special Rate Variation comes in, it would be calculated on the general rate only, which is comprises of one of six categories of various residential, business and farmland category.

A base rate includes land valuation charge which is calculated by Valuer General NSW at the same level for every property owner.

Obviously, if you own a bigger block, then you pay more.

On top of the base rate are charges for waste minimisation, stormwater and sewer charges, and these amounts are different again, depending on how many rubbish bins and bathrooms your property uses.

The council will levy charges for services where a service is available to the property, whether the service is utilised or not.

Lismore mayor Isaac Smith said the council was required to deliver services such as maintain roads to meet community expectations.

"For us to do this, the SRV is an important part of delivering this outcome,” he said.

"But if the community does not want us to raise rates, we still have to meet their expectations, which will lead to reductions in services.”

Meanwhile, the issue has been a hot topic on The Northern Star's social media:

Ross Bienke: "Why should rate payers have to suffer for the Lismore City Council's poor management of finances?”

Michelle Garrett: "Rural rates going up but no sign of rural roads being repaired, with so many large pot holes that need urgent repairs.”

Alyshia Johnson: "Rural area... no sealed road, no garbage collection, no sewerage, on septic, almost $2000 for rates... fair doesn't come close.”

Sue Brown: "My new rate notice is $3335 for a duplex in Goonellabah. Something that really annoys me is I get charged two lots of sewerage because I have duplex. But each of those units only has one toilet. I know of many houses in my area that have two or even three toilets in their single houses and they only get charged a single sewer fee.”

Across the Lismore local government area, the council said the funds generated each year by rates and charges were used to provide essential services including animal and weed control, public health and waste education, strategic planning and planning control of traffic movement, sign posting, rural addressing, safety and transport integration and maintenance of roads and footpaths, libraries, community facilities and sporting facilities.