Family fear council?s inevitable increase in charges

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

WHEN Bruce and Debbie Cumming were told their humble East Lismore home had more than doubled in value, they began to dread their next rates bill.

The couple bought their property two-and-a-half years ago when the land alone was worth $41,000, but found out earlier this year it had been revalued at $100,000.

"We were worried we could be paying much higher rates," said Mrs Cumming.

"Having four kids and only one income, it was a big worry."

The family was advised last month they were facing an inevitable increase, but exactly how high would be determined by the new rating structure adopted by Lismore City Council.

The council has organised a series of public meetings to explain three rating systems being considered.

Under Option A, the Cumming family's annual rates will increase from $814 to $940. This option is the present system used where rates are charged according to land values.

If Option B is chosen, the Cummings' rates will increase to $910. An amount of $270 would be charged per ratepay- er, with the remainder calculated by using new property valuations.

Mr and Mrs Cumming said they preferred Option C in which their rates would increase to $902.

This proposal is a combination of A and B, where a base rate is introduced, but the proportion of money raised in each rating category remains the same as now.

Council general manager Paul O'Sullivan said every ratepayer would be affected differently and a rise in land value did not necessarily mean rates would increase.

For information about the public meetings call 6625 0500.



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