Ballina businesses face rates slug

BUSINESS rates in the Ballina Shire may jump 16 per cent this year as the council looks to increase the proportion companies contribute to the shire’s total rate revenue.

In an email to the Ballina, Alstonville and Lennox Head chambers of commerce, the council’s general manager, Paul Hickey, said the council was on track to increase the proportion to 20 per cent.

“It has been council policy to progressively increase the proportion of council’s total rate income generated from business properties since 2005/06,” he wrote.

“The reason for this is that in considering its long-term rating strategy during the preparation of the 2006/07 budget, the council identified that the Ballina Shire average business rate was the lowest in NSW for category four councils.”

The State Governmentrecently allowed the council to raise general rates by 6.2pc, including the 2.6pc rate cap.

However, the councilintends to only charge households an additional 3.5pc, with businesses picking up the difference.

The email said the 20pc target would be met if business rates rose by 16pc this year.

In Byron Shire, businesses contribute 18.7pc of total rate revenue, while Lismore City businesses contribute 20.4pc, including the Lismore city promotion and CitySafe program.



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