Lismore City Council has plans to increase rates by 24 per cent over four years.
Lismore City Council has plans to increase rates by 24 per cent over four years.

Have your say on Lismore’s rate increase... again

RESIDENTS have another chance to share their thoughts on Lismore City Council's plan to raise rates by 24 per cent over four years.

The council has applied to IPART for a staggered rate increase of 7.5, 9.4, 3.9 and 3.2 per cent increases over four years to finance a budget backlog.

The application requests a 24 per cent cumulative increase over four years in total permissible general income, to be retained permanently in the rate base, to improve financial sustainability, reduce infrastructure backlog, and deliver economic development objectives.

After the council conducted a public consultation over the issue last year, ratepayers can now make a further submission about whether they support the rate rise to IPART before March 4.

IPART Chair Dr Paul Paterson said IPART will make a determination on the application by mid-May and if successful, Lismore City Council would be able to apply any approved increase for the 2020-21 year, if it chose to do so.

"We will assess the application against the criteria established by the Office of Local Government in its guidelines for special variations, which require councils to demonstrate the need for and the purpose of the additional revenue, evidence of community consultation and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers," Dr Paterson said.

"As councils must engage with the community when assessing options for a special variation, we expect Lismore City Council will have already sought and considered the community's views on the proposed special variation."

IPART will be making its assessment based on the need for, and purpose of, a different revenue path for the council's General Fund, evidence the community is aware of the need for and extent of a rate rise, and whether the impact on affected ratepayers is reasonable.

Lismore City Council's application can be found on the IPART website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.

The IPART website also has information about the assessment criteria for special variations, and how to lodge a submission.

Submissions can also be emailed to localgovernment@ipart.nsw.gov.au or posted to Local Government Team Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW PO Box K35 Haymarket Post Shop NSW 1240.